Woundedness | 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 still 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: Woundedness
Wounds are important sources of the stories of our lives. The journey through life is one that inevitably involves a certain wounding of us all. Sometimes, this is a physical wounding. And sometimes it is an emotional or spiritual wounding. Either way, being wounded seems to be part of the deal for us all. And being wounded is not pleasant. In fact, sometimes it’s downright awful. We can feel like we will never recover at all from our wounding.
Yet, wounds can heal. It may take time and lots of help or support. But they can heal - and when they do, they provide us with a different perspective on life.
Some years ago, a friend had a bad cartilage tear in his right knee that necessitated surgery. He spent eight months on crutches and painkillers before the surgery. It was not a great time. However, he had surgery and eventually the wounds healed. This time of woundedness left him with a renewed sense of how much of a gift life can be. Just for him to walk unaided, albeit for fewer miles than before, was marvellous!
Death and bereavement wound also. Even years after a bereavement, the wound can still feel raw and open. This loss (and others) can also leave us with a real sense of the importance of life, friendship and the love of God.
When we expose our woundedness to others, it invites them into the story of our wounds. It is often more difficult to be judgemental, angry or prejudicial with someone when we appreciate their woundedness.
Maybe that’s why God allowed Jesus to be so horribly wounded; to let us know the value of wounds. And why Thomas had to see Jesus’ wounds in order to truly believe in his resurrection.
Ephesians 2:1-22 (NIV)
When we were dead, God brought us to life in God's Son ... so you are no longer aliens ... you are part of God's household.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Galatians 4:7 (NIV)
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
1. Can you be grateful for healed wounds?
2. Ask for healing for those wounds that need it.
3. Can you trust that your woundedness will be respectfully received by others?
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.