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       Thoughts on Prayer from the DRCC


May 23. 2020





Last week, I spoke about different ways of praying with words. This week, I thought I would share a few more ideas using words – through writing or journaling. You do not have to be a "good" writer to write in a journal – no one is going to see it but you!


Here are some different ways we can pray by journaling:

The simplest way is to pick up your pen and write to God. Tell God what you are thinking and feeling. Write down what you are questioning or wondering about. It may be only a few sentences or it may turn out to be a few pages. When we put on paper what has been circling around in our brains, it may become clearer to us. It can be one way of allowing God to speak to us.

If you want to be a little more adventurous, you could do some "Right Hand, Left Hand Journaling" Have a conversation with God in your journal in this way: Let your dominant hand be you and begin writing with that hand – a thought or a question. Then switch your pen to your non-dominant hand and let that be God – answer the question, or make a comment or reply with another question. Keep moving your pen from hand to hand until the conversation is complete. Are you putting words in God’s mouth? Maybe, but as often as I have done this, my non-dominant hand has given me insight or questions I would not have come up with on my own.

For those who are a little more poetic, you might want to write your own psalm. The psalms were songs written to express a multitude of feelings to or about God. Create your own psalm of the day focused on what you are feeling, what you are seeing, what you are understanding.
Be well and be at peace!​


                                                       May 16, 2020  

 






There are lots of words spinning around us these days and sometimes it is difficult to know which ones to land on. The same can happen with prayer. The first prayers we were "taught" likely had specific words that we learned by heart. But there are so many prayers out there, which ones should I land on?

 Here are some different ways we can pray using words:

You may choose a specific prayer you learned long ago – a psalm, the Our Father, the rosary, a devotional prayer. These "long ago" prayers can often help ground or root us.

You may explore prayers from saints, spiritual books or websites that seem to express what you are thinking and feeling. You may find the similarities comforting in knowing that you are not alone. You may also find prayers that are challenging – stretching you to look at situations in a different way and helping you to grow.

Remember, you do not need a phone or device or link to have a conversation with God. You can simply speak from your heart, using your own words. If you are going for a walk or taking a drive, imagine God walking with you or sitting in the passenger seat. Have a conversation with God about what is going on in your life – your hopes and your worries. And don’t forget to allow a little time just to be quiet together and listen. You may even sense what God is saying back to you.

 Be well and be at peace!



May 9, 2020






 

We have to have a sense of humor in the midst of all of these days. I think God does too! I woke up this morning, thinking about our friends with fur and feathers and was reminded of the refrain of a song - "All God’s critters got a place in the choir. Some sing low, some sing higher. Some sing out loud on the telephone wire. Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they got there."

 Here are some ways we can pray with God’s creatures:

 If you sit quietly by your window or on a porch or walking slowly outside, what are you seeing? Birds pecking for food? How many different kinds of birds and colors of feathers? Notice their song, their beauty, grace in flight, pairing with a mate. Maybe you have the opportunity to watch one building a nest or a hawk soaring through the air. What does God say to you through them about freedom, worry, beauty, diversity?

And what about those squirrels chasing each other? What does God say to you through them about playfulness, surety of foot, saving for the future, alertness?

What else do you see outside? Deer? Fish? Raccoon? Bear?

And what about our indoor friends – cats, dogs, fish, birds, lizards, etc? They have no worries during this pandemic. They are still as loyal, faithful, playful, relaxed, and carefree as usual because they know they are cared for. What about you? Do you know you are cared for? What is God saying to you through these faithful companions of yours?

Be well and be at peace!


May 2, 2020
 





These days have certainly been different! For many of us we have had the opportunity to be out in Creation a bit more – taking hikes, sitting in our yards, going for walks. Some of us may be more limited – confined to our homes looking out. Creation offers us much in the way of beauty, hope, transformation, and patience.

Here are some ways we can pray with Creation:

Whether you are inside or outside, pay attention to a particular plant – tree/bush/flower. Over the next couple of days, watch how it grows and changes – leaves growing, buds forming, flowers blossoming. Notice the new growth on what was seemingly lifeless as it endured the winter.

Use as many of your senses as you can! See the colors. Hear the birds chirping, the wind blowing, the rain falling. If you are outside, feel the breeze on your skin and smell the fragrance of the flowers or new mown grass. Let a tree or flower speak to your soul.

Praise God for the wonder of Creation – realizing that you are just as intricate and beautiful as all you are seeing around you!

(For those of you wondering "What about the animals?" We’ll talk about that next week)

Be well and be at peace!



                                                  April 25, 2020

These days it is easy to get overwhelmed or discouraged by the news.  We can have it 24-7 and it doesn’t take much to get drawn into it frequently - looking for signs of hope or change or any bit if information that they did not have an hour earlier.


Here are some ways we can pray with the news:

As each story comes on the screen, say a prayer for all those involved. A story about what is happening in a local nursing home could lead you to pray for the residents, the families of the residents, the health care workers, the housekeepers and food service workers.

If you can’t hear one more thing, turn the volume off and pray with the images – for the people and situations that you see before you.

If you’re looking at a newspaper or articles on line, read a headline and hold the situation in prayer before continuing on.

While we often pray that God will “fix” a situation, perhaps our prayer can be that wisdom, understanding, hope and love fill each one – regardless of whether it is a person/decision we agree with or not.

Be well and be at peace!


April 18, 2020


Sometimes it is just hard to pray!  Maybe we feel discouraged or overwhelmed, and prayer may feel like just one more thing to do.  Here are some simple ways that might help in those situations:

Pray a prayer you know by heart.  Maybe you learned it long ago – like the Our Father, or rosary, or a psalm.

Spend a few minutes doing some intentional breathing. Close your eyes. focus on your breath and as you inhale say to yourself “Acceptance” and as you exhale, “Surrender”.

Simply sit in your favorite chair with a cup of hot tea or coffee or hot chocolate.  Just let yourself be there with no words and let God love you!

Be well and be at peace! 


April 11, 2020


For those of us in the Christian tradition, Holy Saturday is a day of waiting – an in between time where those first followers were not sure what just happened or what was yet to come and when.  Kind of like now…

So, in this time of sacred waiting, I invite you to take a technology break - just for an hour or whatever timeframe makes sense in your life right now.  Turn off the tv or radio, your music or phone and allow yourself to enter into some sacred silence.  Notice what you hear.  Listen to the wind blowing in the trees or the birds chirping. Pay attention to your own breathing or put your hand on your chest and be mindful of your heartbeat.  Maybe you live with others.  Close your eyes and listen to the cadence of their voices as you recognize each one. Allow God to speak to your heart in the simple sounds around you as, together, we wait.

Be well and be at peace!                                              


April 4, 2020

In this time of social distancing, we are very aware of the space between ourselves and others – both physically (6’) and virtually (via technology).

But how are you creating space for God at this time?  Here are two ways to look at it:

Create a prayer space in your house/apartment/room
 

In that space you might have a small table or corner of the floor where you can lay a scarf.  You might want to place a candle or symbol that directs your thoughts toward God on that cloth.  Keep in that space your bibleor meditation books, your journal, your knitting, your coloring…  If you only have a small space, sitting in your favorite chair and lighting a candle or putting on instrumental music can turn the atmosphere into prayer time until the candle is blown out or the music is turned off. 

If you live with others ask that whenever anyone is sitting in that space, the others respect that as prayer time and do not interrupt. Allow others to use that space or create their own.

Create space in your day for God

In this time of new routines, think about what time of day is easiest for you to connect with God – first thing in the morning? as the end of the day? right after lunch when everyone else has gone outside for a bit?

Find the time that works best for you and make it part of your daily routine.

Be well and be at peace!

                                          

                                         March 28, 2020


I have heard it said that “All prayer is relationship.” How has your prayer, your relationship with God been going these past days? It can become difficult when our whole daily routine is upended.

Here are some thoughts to remember:

If you are living with others:

          Try to find a place where you can be by yourself and take at least 5 minutes of quiet time with God.
          Find some time during the day to pray with those you live with. This may be as simple as saying grace together, or it may involve sitting down together at a time that you would usually have gone to services - read Scripture together and share what that Word means to you.

If you live alone:
          Reach out and call someone who you have seen at your place of worship. Connect about life as it is now and offer a word of encouragement from your own prayer.

Be well and be at peace!