Becoming unstuck | 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: Becoming unstuck
One cold, bright spring morning a woman set about one of her core daily routines – hosing and clearing up her back garden. The sun was shining and the air was clear. ‘This will be a cinch, working in these conditions,’ she told herself.
She prepared the ground for hosing by shovelling and brushing and bleaching where necessary. Ten minutes in and she had a head of steam up – she was getting things done and it felt good. Next up was the hosing. Over she went to the outside water tap to which the hose was connected. She turned the tap on and ... nothing. She stood confused for a few seconds, looking from the tap to the nozzle of the hose, as if she could convince it into being by showing her confusion (and growing annoyance). She then shook the hose about a bit. Alas, that didn’t work.
She went to walk away from the tap and as she did she stood on the hose. It made an unusual cracking sound. She stepped on another part of the hose and it made the same sound. In an instant she realised what the problem was – the hose was full of frozen water. The system was completely full and no more could be done. ‘Well at least I know what the problem is,’ she thought to herself. ‘What can I do to fix it?’ What ensued was fifteen minutes of her walking on, twisting and shaking the hose about. She even poured hot water over it but she couldn’t concentrate enough heat along the length of it to effect any change.
She stopped and admitted defeat. There was nothing she could do to make this hose work and get things done. As she stood there, a thought struck her. She remembered her earlier happiness at the fact that she would be working on a bright day. She looked up and saw the blue sky with a strong spring sun glowing in the middle of it, and the solution to her situation became clear.
Her job was to take a few minutes out and do nothing at all – even though she felt a pressure to get things done. In ways she was like the hose; full to the brim with thoughts, plans, worries and the icy fear of getting nothing done. All she had to do was let the sun do what it was doing all along – heating, easing and solving all the difficulties. She was just getting in the way and taking on too much responsibility. So she laid the hose down and allowed the sun to do its gentle work. She had some breakfast and took some time to reflect on the wisdom she had encountered in this situation. In time, the hose thawed out and, well rested, she set about her work.
Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV)
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Matthew 6:13 (NIV)
And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
1. Where do I often get stuck?
2. What is the freedom that God wants for me?
3. How could I pray for that freedom or release?
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.