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The Art of Prayer
“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” G. K. Chesterton
“We must lay before him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.” – C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
“Getting out of the way and listening is not something that comes easily, either in art or in prayer.” – Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
What is the purpose of prayer? Is it simply to make petitions of God and to remind Him of our wants and needs and a long process of trying to manipulate a power greater than ourselves to do what we cannot do for ourselves? Is there more to prayer than telling God what to do and complaining if we don’t receive what we have asked for? A more full understanding of the purpose of prayer is communion with God – a communication that goes not only out of us to Him, but also from Him to us. Like the nuanced process of mastering language to communicate love to someone else, prayer is the nuanced practice of communicating truth and love with God – the art of giving and receiving, telling and listening, pouring out and being still. In this breakout session, we will look at elements and expectations of prayer, practices for removing hindrances, and habits that can help us develop more fulfilling and mature communication with our Creator.
Circles of Influence: George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis made no secret that he was deeply influenced by the writings of George MacDonald, a Scottish author, poet, and clergyman who was born 74 years before Lewis. Lewis’s famous statement about the baptism of his imagination is in reference to the effect MacDonald’s book Phantastes had on him. In George MacDonald: An Anthology, Lewis says that “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him. But it has not seemed to me that those who have received my books kindly take even now sufficient notice of the affiliation.” In this breakout session, we will briefly explore several key areas of influence of MacDonald on Lewis, how that influence is still at work today, and what Lewis referred to when he attributed the word “master” and “affiliation” to this beloved writer.
Lancia E. Smith, Author, speaker, and photographer. She has been photographing professionally for more than 20 years; taught English and Art as an integrated subject for 5 years; and writes on topics related to C.S. Lewis, spiritual development, and the arts intersecting culture. Lancia hosts the website “Cultivating the Good, the True and the Beautiful,” where viewers can read her latest posts and view her photos.
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