contemplative worship: pray your prayer

Elements from today’s Sanctuary service at Skyland UMC:

Opening Meditation:

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
~Thomas Merton
bridge Pink Beds
Centering Prayer:
Applying the practice of lectio divina to this quote:
When I am with you, everything is prayer.  ~Rumi
Elements of the Message:
Quote:  We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human  journey.  ~Teresa of Ávila
Questions for reflection within the message:
  • What does your human journey, your ordinary life, look like?  What activities are included?
  • What does your spiritual journey, the well-formed life, look like?  What activities are included?
  • Do those two journeys look the same for you?  Do they overlap?  Are they separate?  Are they one and the same?
  • Substitute the word “prayer” for “life.”  How are you living your prayer?  Does that take on a new meaning for you?

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How do we live our prayer as spiritual beings?

  • Be compassionate to all you meet–everyone is struggling with some sort of issue
  • See the God-within–we all carry darkness and light within our souls.  Look for the gifts and graces that God celebrates in each of us
  • Live as a humble witness and servant–this is where the spiritual being moves beyond the human journey; we put our egos aside and go to the One within, living out the light and love that is so unconditionally shared with us by the Beloved
  • Be quiet and at peace with God–reconnect, listen, seek, surrender

Become a living prayer

Music for meditation after message:  Living Prayer written by Ron Block, performed by Alison Krauss

Closing prayer after communion:

Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

~Teresa of Ávila

heart hands

 

Spring poetry and prayer

Lord, the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries
within
the garden
of God.
The trees in their prayer,
the birds in praise,
the first blue violets,
kneeling.
~Rumi

violet

 

May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me,
God beyond me,
maker of the trees.

  ~Chinook prayer, Pacific Northwest Coast

dogwood

Spring—through

morning mist

what mountain’s there?

  ~Basho, Japan

mountains and clouds

quotes: meditating on love

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside of it.  ~Ranier Maria Rilke

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.  ~Lao Tzu

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa

And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,sugar hollow ager's farm
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.  ~Rumi

Where there is love there is life.  ~Mahatma Gandhi