Connected / related to others | 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: Connected/ related to others
A man was in the local shop and, when it came to paying, the shop assistant asked if he wanted to use the contactless function on the debit card machine. This meant that he simply showed his card to the machine, near enough for it to be read and for the money to be taken from his account. No putting the card into the machine, no inputting his pin number, no chance for it to go wrong. Easy! He said goodbye and left.
As he walked from the shop, though, he became uneasy in his spirit. He contemplated that experience over the following days, and came to an understanding about why he felt uneasy. It is this: society and technology at times move us to a presumption of no contact with each other – a ‘contactless society’ if you will. Lives can be lived ever more remotely, thanks in part to social media and advances in computer technology. Friendships are found, developed and sometimes ended in virtual reality without the people actually meeting.
We seem to be moving more and more towards a contactless society where our own existence and our own needs are of primary importance and meeting these needs can be done without contact with another live human being. Not only that, but less contact with others means less insight into the needs of others as well, and in that situation others suffer and we are deprived of the experience of developing empathy and of helping our fellow human beings. Our drive towards a contactless society will deprive us of many things, not least the richness that comes from, sometimes messy, face to face contact with another human being.
Luke 24:13-35 (NIV)
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
I am with you all days till the end of time.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
May Christ Jesus strengthen you inwardly through the power of the Spirit.
1. How could we create a safe ‘contact-more’ society?
2. How could you develop more opportunities to be with, learn from and help others?
3. How could you help those already in a ‘contactless’ world and reach out in love to them wherever, whenever and however possible?
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.