“…prayer becomes dry, imagination no longer helps, words are just words. One asks, ‘How am I to pray?’”
When You Can’t Pray has its origins in the author’s reflection on the prayer experiences shared by those attending directed retreats, or shared during spiritual direction. It is hoped that it will be helpful to those who reach the disarming point, described above, when prayer no longer seems to work for them – hence the title.
The book is shaped by talks given by the author over the course of ten years conducting training courses for spiritual directors. It contains a section specifically tailored for spiritual directors, which provides guidance on discerning what is happening when a person prays. For the person experiencing a difficult time in their own prayer life, this book will be of help both through the practical guidance offered, and through the comforting sense of solidarity that comes from reading the accounts of others who have struggled similarly.
Fr Finbarr Lynch SJ, spent 16 years on the staff of Belvedere College, in administration and teaching. In 1988 he joined a new Centre of Spirituality opened by the Jesuits in Belfast, where he trained people in prayer and prayer guidance, and gave retreats and spiritual direction. He is now on the full-time staff of the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality at Manresa House, Dublin since 1997, giving retreats, teaching prayer and training spiritual directors.