Emily’s Weekday Wonderings – November 9th, 2017

Photo Credit: Mike Erskine

 

On the afternoon of October 28th we had a prayer workshop. We wondered about questions such as: Why do we pray? How do we pray? And, what is prayer anyway?

Often we think of prayer in very structured terms, such as The Lord’s Prayer, a prayer at the start of a meeting, prayer in worship, praying the rosary (in the Catholic tradition), or saying grace before a meal. But what if we pay less attention to the words that are used or not used, what if we set aside formal instances of prayer, and instead look at prayer in much larger terms? What if prayer is not a set of words, but an approach to life?

Here are some characteristics of prayer that emerged in our shared discussion:
• Listening
• Paying attention/openness
• Connection
• Grounding
• Thanksgiving

If we think about characteristics such as these (although I am certainly not offering this as a comprehensive list), then it becomes clear that prayer can happen in all kinds of places. For instance, a couple of examples of possible prayer moments for me include journaling, or going for walks. Someone else might name a prayer moment as going for coffee with a good friend, when the conversation and connection can move somewhere deep. Prayer can happen with words or with silence, with movement or with stillness.

I invite you to think about these characteristics. Does this list make sense to you? Where are you already experiencing prayer in your own daily life? Are there any other ways that you’d like to “practice” prayer – focusing more on listening, paying attention, connection, grounding, and thanksgiving?

Blessings, Rev. Emily Gordon

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