Movement as Prayer

Perhaps the emerging consciousness that “sitting is the new smoking” is leading me to incorporate gestures as part of prayer.  I sit so much at my computer that sitting for prayer seems like too much.  Also, I’ve been engaged a lot lately with developing a program to accompany my book on spiritual birth preparation, an important theme of which is the body as a source of meaning.  Movement nurtures that awareness in a way that words alone cannot.  This past Saturday, I opened a pilot mini-retreat based on the book with the prayer sequence below, which I adapted from another site.   A few weeks earlier, I led a different version of the same sequence with a group of friends from my parish who are gathering during Lent to reflect on the environment and faith.  Both are below along with a few links on embodied prayer.

Pregnancy Version
1. Hands together in prayer position, touching the heart. Let us begin by touching our heart, knowing that as we do, we are also touching God’s heart, the heart of all creation.
2. Hands flat on belly. We give thanks for the gift of our bodies and the power of childbearing, as we pray for health and strength.
3. Hands reach up. We give thanks for Mystery, for all that we can never grasp or understand, as we pray for hope and faith.
4. Hands touching earth. We give thanks for the earth, this living organism that supports and sustains us, as we pray for global healing.
5. Hands together, thumbs touching center between eyes. As we touch what some would call the third eye, we give thanks for intuition, as we pray for vision that leads us forward.
6. Hands reaching out, arms extended. We give thanks for our desire to know God in all that we do. We remember that we are not alone, as we pray for one another on the journey ahead.

Eco-Spirituality Version
1. Hands together in prayer position, touching the heart. Let us begin by touching our heart, knowing that as we do, we are also touching God’s heart, the heart of all creation.
2. Hands back to back, but turned inward with finger tips touching sternum. We give thanks for the gift of our bodies, our authentic selves.
3. Hands reach up. We give thanks for the sky above, the air we breathe, the roof that keeps us dry and warm, the sun and moon and stars. We give thanks for Mystery, for all that we can never grasp or understand.
4. Hands touching earth. We give thanks for the earth, this living organism that supports and sustains us. We pray for the earth’s healing and for the entire web of life that depends on it.
5. Hands together, thumbs touching center between eyes. As we touch what some would call the third eye, we give thanks for our imaginations. We pray for vision that leads us forward. We ask to be prophets, to be aware of what is happening here and now and to speak God’s word in the world.
6. Hands reaching out, arms extended. We give thanks for our desire to know God in the world. We remember that we are not alone.  We look around and see that in reaching out we make a net, a net that holds us, challenges us, and sends us forth in the world.

Other Resources
Rev. Marcia Shoop’s Embodied Prayers of the People
Praying with Our Hands

 

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One Response to Movement as Prayer

  1. Pingback: A Heart for Holy Week | Sense of the Faithful

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