Freedom to say ‘Yes’ | 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: Freedom to say ‘Yes’
Our lives are filled with people who say and who have said ‘yes’. They have said ‘yes’ to doing the right thing. They have said ‘yes’ to taking on a difficult, but worthy path. They have said ‘yes’ to love and self-sacrifice. They have said ‘yes’ to God. Spend a few minutes now and call some of these people to your mind. It might be your parents or grandparents. It might be your husband or wife. It might be a friend or a teacher. It might be a famous person you know about.
Saying ‘yes’ is a vital part of our relationship with God. As is our freedom to say ‘no’ as well. So many times in my life I look back on now and see clearly that I said ‘no’ (even if I didn’t understand it as saying ‘no’ to God at the time). Thank God, I can recall some times of saying ‘yes’ too. Saying ‘yes’ to God enables us to be a living presence of love, joy and mercy in this world. Our ‘yes’ always draws us to love and value ourselves, others and the world around us.
In Christian history and tradition, there are numerous people who said ‘yes’: Mary, Jeremiah, Moses and Peter, for example. Their yesses mattered. They may not have known exactly what they were saying ‘yes’ to and they certainly didn’t know where their yesses would take them (both the pain and the glory). But they had the wisdom to know that God was asking and that they should say ‘yes’.
If you’re faced with a difficult yes at the minute, remember you’re in good company with those above. Know this too: those who say ‘yes’ are gifted for that yes (so we see Peter, the uneducated fisherman, become a learned scholar and leader of a new movement – a saint). You too will be gifted for your ‘yes’.
Matthew 4:18-22 (NIV)
They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Luke 5:8-9 (NIV)
When Simon Peter saw the huge catch, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken.
Matthew 10:1 (NIV)
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
1. What do you need to say ‘no’ to?
2. What do you need to say ‘yes’ to?
3. How will you know which response God wants from you?
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.