What actually is prayer? What happens when we do it? What difference can it make, if any, to the events and circumstances we find ourselves in? Should we expect to sense God in prayer, or perhaps even hear him communicate to us? And if so, why do so few of us ever seem to have these sorts of experiences.

For many of us, these questions, and others like them, have led us to a place of disillusionment and prayerlessness. And yet we still yearn for the deep, rooted, holistic connectedness that prayer promises.

So we brought these questions, and others, to Dr. Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and expert in the history of Christian spirituality. He’s known as a man of great wisdom and deep spirituality. And he didn’t disappoint!

Interview starts at 8m 5s

Image provided by Magdalene College. Used with permission.


Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer


“If things are difficult it’s not because God wants to make things difficult. If things are difficult its because growing up is difficult and loving is difficult and trusting is difficult and faithfulness is difficult. Get used to it. But, the one who is within and beyond all this is the one who’s essentially on your side, who wants you to go through all this so you live as fully as you can.”

“Certainly in this country we’re quite busy and talkative as Christians. It can be quite difficult to say, well just shut up and something may happen. Our culture, increasingly I think, recognises that’s it’s not enough just to be busy and talkative and I think our churches ought to be a bit more ready to welcome those people who are finding that busyness and talkativeness in our culture exhausting and unrewarding.”


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  1. Dave Kirchinger Mar 9, 2024

    Is it possible to purchase a transcript of this interview?

    • Sorry, but we don’t produce transcripts. Apple Podcasts and Spotify are starting to roll out transcripts for all their podcasts though, so hopefully you can get what you need there.

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