What is your earliest memory of prayer? Perhaps saying grace at dinner: “God is great, God is good, let us thank him, for our food.” Or a bedtime prayer? (I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to have kids pray “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take!!)
We know that prayer is important, but we’re not always exactly sure how to go about it. We’ve all had those times when we question if God really hears our prayers… or if God ever really speaks to us. Am I praying ‘the right way?’ Praying enough? Using the right words?
How often have you ever talked to someone about your prayer life? Let’s get together and not only talk about some of our questions, but explore new ways to pray…and to listen! Have you ever heard of praying in color? Or Lectio Divina? Or prayer in motion?
I am going to offer a Practicing Prayer group on the first Wednesday of every month at 2pm, starting with Wed. March 6th. Each month we will participate in one or two prayer practices that will be a little different than the typical ‘head bowed, hands folded’ experience we are accustomed to.
For example, here is an exercise called the “Here I Am” prayer, adapted from Anthony Bloom’s book, Beginning to Pray. This prayer can be used daily as a prelude to other prayer practices and the intent is to be here now in prayer.
Plan to be in prayer for at least five minutes. Do not answer the phone or allow for any distractions.
Be seated in a comfortable position, and say to yourself, “Here I am seated, doing nothing. I will do nothing for five minutes” (or longer, depending on what you desire).
Notice the presence of your surroundings. Say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of… (the room, garden, chapel, wherever you are).” Be aware of the furniture, walls and any pets or people in the room. Be present and silent and relax even more.
Now say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of God.” Repeat silently to God, “Here I am.” Bask in the presence of the Holy One until your time goal has been reached.
In each month’s newsletter I will publish a new prayer practice for you to try at home, and we will incorporate these into our monthly prayer gatherings.
I look forward to nurturing our hearts and spirits through prayer together!!