Photo: Green Monk.


 Monk Preston: Man of Prayer

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."

Monk Preston, President of The Prayer Foundation , and one of its two Co-founders,  had come to that place in life where he realized that there was no meaning in anything other than serving Christ.  We will let him speak to us in his own words...

Monk Preston On Prayer:

  "There is an ecstasy in prayer.  There can be an agony in prayer.  Prayer is often bliss. 

  Sometimes it is travail, or the hardest work you have ever done.  When I first became a Christian and first prayed for an hour, it more often than not seemed a tedium, as if each hour of prayer lasted for several days.  

   More recently, (that is, thirty years later), over an hour may pass and it seems like five or ten minutes.  But not always.  Sometimes ____________

the whole first hour passes before the Spirit of God breaks through and the presence of God is felt.  I speak of the joy of the Lord that is our strength.  Of the wonderful, glorious God who at times gives these ecstatic experiences to His children.  It is the awareness of His presence and of his great love for us that brings us this joy.

Photo: Monk Preston in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt.  Copyright 2003 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.

Monk Preston in the Egyptian Desert.  The Valley of the Kings in the Eastern Sahara.  (Jan. 2003)

    Petition, praise, intercession, stillness, thanksgiving, deep meditation on His Word; the Bible teaches  many forms of prayer.   

Once learned, we may naturally go through them all every time we pray, sometimes in as short a period as five minutes.  Or not.  We should ever be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, judged always by His written Word.  

    The Lord out of His great love for us gives us these experiences, the more so as we persevere, but we do not serve Him for feelings.  

The written Word of God is the absolute judge, arbiter, and  by the Holy Spirit, our teacher in all things.  

Through His Word, both the Father and His will for us are revealed.  All this is done through the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, as we come to God through the precious blood and Person of His Son.

     Photo: of Monk Preston, President of The Prayer Foundation.  Copyright 2000 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.      Enjoying a rare Portland snowfall.  (Nov. 2000)

Seated outdoors on our monastery's deck at sunrise, I have remained all day; mostly in prayer, but also reading the Bible, and in a still and quiet appreciation of God and His creation.

Squirrels run by, clouds drift across the summer sky.  Chirping birds land only to fly away again.  The sun moves across the sky and spectacularly sets.  Such a day is one of the best. __________________________________

Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (white Celtic cross on a green shield).

Photo: Monk Preston and puppy Monk-Dog Wolfgang.  Copyright 2001 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved. With good friend Monk-Dog Wolfgang in Portland, Oregon.  (2001)

    Like Brother Lawrence in the monastery kitchen with his pots and pans, we must learn The Practice of the Presence of God (the entire text of that book, which records some of his thoughts on prayer, is posted on this website).  

Brother Lawrence speaks of being aware of God every waking moment, as one way of "praying without ceasing."  We can think our every thought to God in prayer.  

Yet it also is good to set aside a certain time every day to pray without distraction.  An hour of the day like a Sabbath island of time, in which we are temporarily free of the time pressures and constraints of this life.    

    For me, this is a good beginning.  I find it to be a foretaste of heaven; nothing is required of us, and we are free at last only to worship God." _____________________________

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Copyright 2001, 2008 S.G.P. All rights reserved. 

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