Living Prayer by Metropolitan Anthony Metropolitan Bloom covers many topics relating to prayer and gives advice on how to begin and maintain a life of prayer. Bloom highlights the power of well-known prayers such as The Lord’s Prayer and The Jesus Prayer as ‘complete’ prayers which affirm our Faith.
Metropolitan Bloom uses Biblical examples to highlight the great faith of certain people. One example used is the prayer of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46), when the blind Bartimaeus exclaims, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy upon me”. Metropolitan Bloom uses the perseverance of Bartimaeus, who as a blind man was ignored and told by others to keep quiet and not to bother Jesus, to inspire us to keep praying even if the desired outcome might not be happening straight away. As well as this, Metropolitan Bloom uses the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:22-28) to show that just as Christ tested her and her faith, God also tests our faith.
Metropolitan Bloom also talks about the difference between prayer and meditation, which is important considering many modern Christians often confuse the two. He makes the sharp distinction that “Meditation is an activity of thought; prayer is rejection of thought”.
Finally, Metropolitan Bloom looks at silent prayer. Silent prayer is the attempt to discover God in us. Silent prayer is so useful that the Church Fathers say it is both the starting point and the ending point of prayer, further affirming its importance in our relationship with God.
I encourage everyone to read this book as it considers the multi-faceted nature of prayer, and has the potential to educate and enlighten us all about what fruitful prayer is.
Source: Lychnos August / September 2017