June 23 Summary – Pray
Led by Charlotte Nichols
On Sunday, June 23rd, as part of our “Way of Love” summer series, Charlotte Nichols helped us explore the third practice, “Pray: Dwell intentionally with God each day.” From the Way of Love Introduction, “Jesus teaches us to come before God with humble hearts, boldly offering our thanksgivings and concerns to God or simply listening for God’s voice in our lives and in the world. Whether in thought, word or deed, individually or corporately, when we pray we invite and dwell in God’s loving presence.” We ran out of time during the group meeting, so over the next week please fill out one of the “Small Group Participant” sheets for the practice of “Pray.” Then transfer your plan for “Pray” to the “Writing a Rule of Life Worksheet.”
We began with an opening prayer and then Char opened the discussion by having us reflecting on last week’s work on “Learn” and what we got out of writing down our regular activities throughout the week.
After, Char introduced the practice of “Pray” and emphasized there are many ways to pray. We then discussed some of the following discussion questions and then closed by reading Psalm 63:1-4, 7-8, and with prayer:
- How do you pray now?
- How has your way of praying changed over time?
- Are there new (to you) forms of praying you’d like to try?
- The Book of Psalms includes many psalms of thanksgiving, as well as psalms of lament. What changes when we can pour out all of our life, the good and the bad, to God?
- What does “God’s loving presence” look like in your life? Or what could it look like?
- Kathy Staudt, a spiritual director, and seminary professor likes to say, “Five minutes of silence a day is the spiritual equivalent of flossing your teeth.” How can you foster silence and receptivity to God in your own life?
- What intentional prayer practices center you in God’s presence, so you can hear, speak, or simply dwell with God? How do you invite God to dwell in you? If you don’t know about intentional prayer practices, where could you get more information?
- What stands in the way of a more active and consistent prayer life? What are simple (or not-so-simple) changes you can make to be more present to God throughout your day?
Some recommendations for “Pray”: Set aside a specific period of time for experiencing contemplative silence, doing contemplative writing, using prayer beads, walking and praying, practicing Ignatian prayer, using prayers from Enriching our Worship, praying by coloring, or praying the Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families (Book of Common Prayer, p. 136). (You also might list a practice you are already engaged in that gives life to you). The Episcopal Church has compiled more resources on “Pray” on their Way of Love website. Char and others also mentioned many opportunities for prayer practices right at Trinity Cathedral that include, but are not limited to:
- Centering Prayer Group (Friday mornings)
- Choral Evensong (Wednesday evenings Sept. -May)
- Daughters of the King (also adopt a Rule of Life)
- Knitting Pearls (Monday evenings and Friday mornings)
- Sacred Space (1st Tuesday of each month except July and August)
- Walking the Labyrinth
Our next session will be led by Linda Lee on July 14th at 9 am. She will be focusing on the practice of “Worship: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God.” Thank you for another great turnout this session!