Lent 2018: Practice & Pray

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Prayer Spaces, Meditations & Labyrinths

Imago Dei Prayer Space - SE 15th & Ash St. (Behind the Sanctuary at Central City Campus): This space is reserved year-round for the exclusive use of prayer. Stocked with Bibles, prayer prompts, exercises and comfortable seating, the Prayer Space was built to help facilitate different styles and ways of communing with God. Please contact info@idcpdx.com or call 503-231-5096 for access.

“Hearing the Voice of God” Lenten Art Show by Scott Erickson - On either side of the Imago Dei Ankeny Building (SE 13th & Ankeny or Ash St.): Hearing always begins with honesty, which sounds easy enough. But often we think we need to be something “other” or “better” to approach God. But this leads us to the opposite of honesty. This art show is made up of 12 words and images to help us get better at honest conversation with God.

14 Stations of the Cross & Labyrinth at the Grotto - 8840 NE Skidmore Street, Portland, OR: The 14 Stations of the Cross is located on the Plaza level Gardens; the labyrinth is located located on the Upper Level Gardens. Visit the grotto.org for hours and info.

Labyrinth at Saint Luke the Physician Episcopal Church - 120 SW Towle Avenue, Gresham, OR: The labyrinth is open at all times with access through the church parking lot on Towle Avenue. Visit saintlukesgresham.org/labyrinth for more info.

Lectio Divina: Centering Prayer Exercise

By Chelsea Gerlach

Lectio Divina is a contemplative reading of Scripture. We invite the living Spirit to be present with us as we sit with the living Word. We allow God to speak into and heal our hearts. Being with the Father, we are restored and refreshed by His great love. We practice receiving the peace of Christ, knowing that it is available to us at any time, if only we chose to turn towards it.

Choose a brief passage of Scripture. Spend a moment preparing your heart. Close your eyes. Breathe with a soft belly. Let go of your worries and your plans for the moment. Settle in to where you are.

Read

In the first movement, we simply read the verses slowly and then sit in silence. This is a practice of letting go of our attachment to own thoughts so that we can better hear the small still voice of God.

As you read the Scripture passage, choose one word or phrase that resonates with to you. Use that word as an anchor.  When you notice that your mind has wandered, gently bring your attention back to that word or phrase.

If your mind is particularly active, keep repeating your anchor word with each breath or as often as you like. The point is not to ‘empty’ your mind. This is an exercise of focusing our attention, noticing when we are following our own thoughts, and returning again and again to an open posture with God.

Meditate

In the second movement, we read the passage again and listen for how God is speaking to us through the text. How does this Scripture apply to your own life in this moment? We may receive comfort, guidance, conviction, strength. Continue to use your anchor to focus your attention, listening with the ears of the heart.

Renew

Using your anchor as a focus, listen for how the Spirit is calling you into transformation. How does this Word pull you into a deeper relationship with God? How does it move you to reflect the image of Christ? Remember we are called into the fullness of life out of God’s great love for us. Lean into the strength He gives us to walk in new life.

Pray

After listening to God, we now respond in prayer. You may want to give thanks for what you have received, repent from where you have been convicted, praise God for the grace you have experienced, or ask for help with your struggles.

Rest

In our final movement, we move from conversation to communion. We have passed through a process of reconciliation, submitting our own thoughts and will, leaning in to the Father. Now we simply sit in silence for a few minutes and rest in the presence of God, in the forgiveness, peace, love and joy that only He can give. Thomas Keating describes this progression: “The external word of God in Scripture awakens us to the interior Word of God in our inmost being.”

Prayer Walks

Prayer walks motivate us to boldly reach out, speak out and live out the Gospel. They can also be a segue to developing relationships. Walking and praying through our neighborhoods and cities nudges us to be mindful of our neighbors and community, leading us to take the next step of loving, serving and engaging.

Tips & Prompts for Prayer Walks

WALK (The Basics) 

  • Be safe. Walk in well lit areas. Walk in groups of 2 or more.
  • Be discrete. No need to be demonstrative.
  • Do not loiter. Keep on walking and praying.

For Groups:

  • Designate a team leader.
  • Determine time, place and duration.
  • Determine a route.

PRAY

  • Start with a Scripture, a purpose or a theme (such as family, neighbors, schools or an unreached people group).
  • Start out with silent prayer and prepare your heart.
  • Just start praying…nothing fancy…just start talking.
  • Designate the last 10 minutes for silent listening.

IMPACT

  • Are you being nudged to do something to impact the Kingdom? (Call a friend, help a neighbor, get involved in service, send a check)?
  • Take notes of your action items and review them often.
  • Pray for courage to act on your action items.

Prayer Prompts/Ideas:

Pray for your Church

  • Walk inside and outside of your church
  • Obtain a list of staff and pray for:
  • Spiritual Health
  • Relationship with Spouse/Families/Roommates
  • Physical health
  • Integrity
  • Emotional strength
  • Communication with staff members
  • Work-life balance
  • Finances
  • Friendships
  • Freedom from temptation
  • Unity of vision within staff members
  • Passion for ministry
  • Observing Sabbath
  • Perspective
  • Contentment
  • Pray for staff by name
  • Obtain list of local and global ministries

Pray for your Neighborhood

  • For every home your walk by
  • Holy Spirit to work on hearts of neighbors
  • Compassion for those that are different
  • Every business in the area
  • To Stand up for justice
  • To Boldly and clearly reach out with the Gospel
  • Against Loneliness/isolation

Pray for your Schools

  • Walk around the school and the adjacent neighborhood
  • Obtain a list of teachers and administration. Pray for them by name.
  • Pray over the curriculum
  • Regional administration
  • Children and their families
  • Christian Administrators, teachers and children to be light to the school