Individually loved | Preparation Prayer
In order to be really present to today’s prayer session, let’s take a little time to prepare ourselves. This will involve quietening ourselves literally and figuratively. Firstly, find a good place to pray. If you are confined to your room, there’s not much choice. But remember, prayer is about real connection and not just perceived perfection. So find yourself in the best place you can.
Secondly, get in touch with what needs to be quietened in you today. You could think about three sites- your head, your heart and your body.
Notice what is going on inside your head. What are you thinking today and how does it differ from yesterday? Don’t get caught up in any thought in particular. Just notice how your thoughts are.
Notice what is going on inside your heart. What are you feeling today and how is that unique to this day? Again, don’t allow yourself to get too caught up in any feeling. Simply notice your feelings.
Notice what is going on in your body. How does your body feel today in comparison to yesterday? Notice the sensations you have- comfort, discomfort, pain, tiredness, restfulness.
Begin, now, to notice your breath. Perhaps breathing is difficult today. If so, go gentle and breathe as well as you can. As you do, acknowledge that each breath, however laboured, is a sign of the gift of life within you. Give thanks to God for this gift.
As you sit, breathing and giving thanks to God, allow your body to become heavy where you sit or lie. Allow a sense of quietness to come over you. This may take a few minutes. Stick with it until you feel ready to proceed with our prayer session for today.
Prayer theme: Individually loved
Look at this photo of an old tree. It is tired. It is covered in vines that make it look untidy and messy. It is not one of the pretty, vibrant looking trees. And yet, looking closer, we see that it has an identity badge on it, just like all the trees in this area. It is seen as no different to the others by the one who identified, cares for and knows the trees.
If this is how it goes for a tree, then how much more so for us? We may be tired. We may be less vibrant than others. We may be old. We may feel useless. We may be judged by others. We may be getting it rough and feel very alone. We may be messy and living messy lives.
But God knows each one of us and has marked each one of us, ALL of us. Just as the tree curator knows the trees individually, so it is with God. Let us chew that one over and see where it takes us this new day.
Isaiah 49:16 (NIV)
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Luke 15:4-7 (NIV)
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
Romans 5:5 (NIV)
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
1. What is unique about you?
2. What do others see in you that you may not recognise in yourself?
3. What have you to offer to the world?
Lord Father God, thank you for this time of prayer that I have undertaken, united with all others who are praying this day.
I am also united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning with love for all creation. In this unity I sit, one of many and one of your beloved.
I ask for the continued help of your Holy Spirit as I end this time of prayer to enter back into the business of my day.
Help me to take the lessons I need from this prayer time today. Help me also to leave behind me anything that I do not need to take with me.
Above all, help me to know that I stay connected to you at all times and that I only need to pause, breathe and pray to become deeply aware of this.