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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001



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Contents page

ii: quaker faith and spiritual practice

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Worship And The Meeting

preface
pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
procedures
activities & organization of the YM
glossary
bibligraphy
appendices
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.

 

Meeting For Worship

prayer and other reflective practices

 Prayer outside of Meeting for Worship takes many forms. For some, constant awareness of the Presence is the background to everything else that happens. For others, prayer is a change from one’s usual focus to communicate with the Divine at a particular moment. Prayer may be of a traditional type, such as intercession or praise in the form of beloved words written by another. A prayer may be vocalized, alone or in a group. It may be silent: formed of internal words or deep and wordless. Prayer may include an embodied discipline, like chant or a movement meditation.

 Daily prayer is a discipline that sustains the spirit and prepares for the coming Meeting for Worship. The Meeting community is greatly strengthened when its members regularly pray for it and for one another.

 There is no use trying to conceal how difficult it is to find time for private prayer in the congested schedules under which most modern people live. But at the bottom it is not a question of finding time…[but] of the depth of the sense of need and of the desire. Busy lovers find time to write letters to one another, often…long letters; although what really matters is not the length of the letter any more than it is the length of the prayer. In this life we find the time for what we believe to be important.

douglas steere, 1938
britain yearly meeting,
quaker faith & practice, 1995, §2.32

 Study of Judeo-Christian scriptures, Quaker materials, devotional literature, and other inspiring works can deepen understanding and enliven spiritul imagination. Individual reflection, conversations with a spiritual friend, group discussions, small gatherings for worship during the week, retreats, and pursuit of opportunities for religious education enhance spiritual development and readiness to be faithful instruments of God’s will.