Friday, August 17, 2007

How Then Shall I Pray

"Prayer too moves in rhythms, ups and downs." Inviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet (Dyckman/Carroll)

I've been thinking about prayer a lot lately. How do I pray, what are the ways to pray, and even why pray are just some of the things floating through my mind. I know there is no right or wrong way to pray, and that prayer is as unique as each person's relationship to God. Prayer deepens that relationship. Do I spend enough time in prayer? I guess that depends on the definition of prayer. If prayer is solely being down on your knees, hands folded, eyes closed and having a sort of one-way conversation with the Divine, then no, I don't spend a lot of time in prayer.

How then are the ways in which I pray?
  • in church - both in corporate, liturgical prayer and private prayer
  • intercession - quick prayers ushered up for someones safety, health or comfort
  • gratitude - a few moments in thanks for safe journeys, health restored or the beauty of the day
  • creative - by what I create, how I express my relationship to God in art, sometimes in a more abstract form like a collage and other times in something more concrete like this prayer wheel
  • journaling - writing prayers, writing out problems, working through my spiritual crisis in writing
  • the Jesus prayer - often repeated at night, in bed, to calm a rattling mind and invite God's comforting presence
  • meditation
Even after writing that list I feel a desire to deepen my prayer life, to move beyond the routine and yet how?

"The continued realization that prayer is gift, something God does in us, not something we do ourselves, frees us to relax, take the pressure off ourselves and wait, allowing God to come as he wills." Inviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet

Ya, that's it. Invite God's presence into every thing I do, not just five minutes of "prayer time". * o

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