Last week I spent time reading Bachar Houli’s autobiography which is subtitled faith, football and family. His words prompted me to think about different perspectives of how we live out our faith.
In the foreword Waleed Aly highlights some of the changes Houli has brought to the way the AFL conducts its business. Aly states that, “[Houli] has made countless conversations between Muslims and their colleagues in all walks of life that tiny bit easier.”
The aspect of Houli’s story that had me thinking was his attitude to prayer. He writes that prayer has had a significant impact on his life as a footballer. During Ramadan he dutifully attended mosque each evening for the long evening prayers known as Taraweh. These prayer times can extend over several hours. During matches and training he would leave the field to pray. Houli talks about the variety of places he used as prayer spaces and how he worked with the AFL to set up prayer rooms at AFL grounds for members of the public.
Reading Houli’s book has me reflecting about the value and place of prayer in my life. Why do I tend to pray, predominately, when under stress? Where do I feel comfortable praying? Given my Anglican liturgical background, what is the value of open prayer vs. structured prayer? Why am I praying?
As we gather this Sunday Janet and I encourage you to bring a stone, leaf and candle to our service as we will use these to focus our prayers. May we continue to build our lives and each other as a prayer filled faith community.
Brian Snashall – Woodhams