Lately, I've become aware that while I often speak about prayer, or lead others in prayer, or teach people ways to pray, I have been less engaged in prayer myself. I love that there are so many ways to pray, ways that engage different personalities, styles of engagement, and ways of knowing. I think that's the most beautiful part of exploring prayer practices, the creativity and variety that is part of communion with God. I have been missing that in my own life.
And so, in the coming year, I will be spending each month with a different prayer practice. This will be a year of both finding joy in the familiar, and experimenting with practices that are new, or newer in my spiritual life. I had the opportunity to do something like this a few years back with a group of grade 2 + 3's and it was a rich experience. I expect it will be equally so this time. Though I know it will be harder to do without the built-in accountability that comes with weekly classes. So anyone who wants to, feel free to check in and hold me accountable!
So here's my plan:
August: Meditation/breath prayers
October: Walking prayer
November: Praying via notes of encouragement
December: Contemplative listening
January: Praying in colour
February: Gratitude prayers
March: Writing the text
April: Body prayers
May: Contemplative gazing
June: Intercessory prayers/lighting candles
July: Daily office
Awesome fact: almost all of these practices are found in Shine Together: The essential guide for leaders and teachers, which is a companion piece to the new Menno Media Sunday school curriculum! Purely coincidental. ;)
At the beginning of each month, I'll post a brief description of the prayer practice and my intentions with it (which will be flexible!). Near the end of each month I hope to do a short reflection on each practice as a way of integrating the experience.
Feel free to join in on one or more if you'd like!