Lent Prayer Meditation Services

Join us at noon for a 30 minute time of prayer meditation. We gather in St. Paul’s Chapel on Wednesdays during Lent (through March 28, 2018)

Below are two examples of how we are guided in our time together:

 

Prayer and Meditation Service
Wednesday March 14, 2018

 

Gathering Prayer (music playing)

As we gather to begin our silent prayer together, begin by reading through this order of service. Then start to pray by focusing upon your breath. As you breathe in, picture the light of Christ entering you. As you breath out, picture exhaling a cloud with any heaviness, brokenness, or weariness that is within you. Pray in this way until the music stops, and then turn your attention to the Leader.

 

Unison Prayer

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Meditation on Scripture The Leader will read the passage twice. As the Leader reads, imagine using all five of your senses to envision the story. What do you see, hear, touch, smell, taste? Establish the details in your mind, as if you are present. Imagine yourself as a part of the story. Whose perspective do you feel drawn to see from? Are you a part of the crowd? Jairus? One of the disciples? The woman in need of healing? Another perspective? As the scripture is read a second time, see the story unfold before you. Pay attention to where your attention is drawn. Is there an image, a word, or a feeling that feels important to you? God may use this to speak into your heart, or this prayer may be simply a time to be immersed in God’s Word.

Luke 9:1-6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)               The Mission of the Twelve

9 Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. 5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

 

Finger Labyrinth (music)

To use a labyrinth is to enter into an ancient spiritual space and make a personal journey of discovery and exploration …It is a journey where you might release tensions, concerns or distractions on the way in, be open to receiving insights and inspiration at the center and conclude uplifted, blessed and renewed.

Your labyrinth time can be as open or as focused as you would like it to be. You might want to simply use the labyrinth and “walk” with your fingers, or before you enter the labyrinth, you might like to take time to:
à Read and reflect on a line or two from some inspirational writer and take a word or phrase from it into the labyrinth with you
à Think about a creative idea and let your mind enjoy the space and your thoughts ebb and flow in the labyrinth
à Consider an experience in your life where you are seeking resolution and give yourself space in the labyrinth to think and consider options
à Think about a key celebration in your life and walk a prayer of joy and thanksgiving in the labyrinth

Reflection Questions to Consider During Lent (silence)
(as outlined by Dr. Laurence Hull Stookey)

“The Lenten discipline is a self-examination that seeks greater conformity to the mind of Christ, and more effective ministry on behalf of the world (which is what true devotion is all about).  In this perspective, Lenten disciplines are not temporary deletions or additions but spiritual exercises that permanently alter us.” Choose a question or questions that draw your attention and spend time reflecting upon them.

 

  1. What progress am I making in gladly sharing what I have with others, especially the poor and the stranger?
  2. What attitudes do I convey to people who irritate me? How can awareness of my need for God’s grace help me be more gracious?
  3. How has my sense of interconnectedness with my community in worship grown? How can I increase my appreciation of the contributions of others?
  4. Am I as charitable and thoughtful to family members as I am to others? Or do I “take it out” on my family when life is hectic?
  5. Can I redistribute my long-range personal budget so that I have more money to give away?
  6. When I hear someone being unjustly spoken about, do I speak out or am I a silent accomplice?
  7. In what way can I be more effective and consistent in supporting legislation and social programs that help the disadvantaged rather than hurt them?
  8. In devotional acts of prayer and reading, is my attention span increasing? Am I discovering new ways of listening rather than talking? of giving thanks rather than complaining?
  9. Am I examining myself for prejudice and finding ways to confront these?
  10. In addition to praying for others, what habits can I cultivate that allow me to be more responsive to the sick, distressed, and mourning, especially when their needs arise suddenly?

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving (music playing)

For what are you grateful?  Think back over the past 24 hours. For what do you give God thanks? What are the small and large things? What are the specific things you are grateful for from this past day? Week? Are there any struggles in which you can find something to give thanks for? (Perhaps the opportunity to learn or grow?)

 

Depart in Peace and Silence  This time of prayerful meditation is scheduled to begin at noon and end at 12:30 during each Wednesday of Lent. As you reach the end of your thanksgiving, leave in silence as you feel so led. You are welcome to stay later (or leave earlier).

 

Prayer and Meditation Service
Wednesday March 7, 2018

Gathering Prayer (music playing)

As we gather to begin our silent prayer together, begin by reading through this order of service. Then start to pray by focusing upon your breath. As you breathe in, picture the light of Christ entering you. As you breath out, picture exhaling a cloud with any heaviness, brokenness, or weariness that is within you. Pray in this way until the music stops, and then turn your attention to the Leader.

Unison Prayer

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day. Preserve me by your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

 

Meditation on Scripture The Leader will read the passage twice. As the Leader reads, imagine using all five of your senses to envision the story. What do you see, hear, touch, smell, taste? Establish the details in your mind, as if you are present. Imagine yourself as a part of the story. Whose perspective do you feel drawn to see from? Are you a part of the crowd? Jairus? One of the disciples? The woman in need of healing? Another perspective? As the scripture is read a second time, see the story unfold before you. Pay attention to where your attention is drawn. Is there an image, a word, or a feeling that feels important to you? God may use this to speak into your heart, or this prayer may be simply a time to be immersed in God’s Word.

Mark 6:30-44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)                       Feeding the Five Thousand

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[i] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Finger Labyrinth (music)

To use a labyrinth is to enter into an ancient spiritual space and make a personal journey of discovery and exploration …It is a journey where you might release tensions, concerns or distractions on the way in, be open to receiving insights and inspiration at the center and conclude uplifted, blessed and renewed.

Your labyrinth time can be as open or as focused as you would like it to be. You might want to simply use the labyrinth and “walk” with your fingers, or before you enter the labyrinth, you might like to take time to:
à Read and reflect on a line or two from some inspirational writer and take a word or phrase from it into the labyrinth with you
à Think about a creative idea and let your mind enjoy the space and your thoughts ebb and flow in the labyrinth
à Consider an experience in your life where you are seeking resolution and give yourself space in the labyrinth to think and consider options
à Think about a key celebration in your life and walk a prayer of joy and thanksgiving in the labyrinth

Imaging Intercession: (silence)
Take time to lift one or more persons in prayer by using images rather than words.

Relax and breath gently. Become aware of God’s presence, imagining it as light and warmth.  Allow this glory to fill your consciousness.

Choose a person who needs healing of body, mind, or heart.

Lift the person into God’s light.  Visualize God’s love bathing the person, gently getting past defenses, relieving pain, cleansing wounds.

See the person in a state of wholeness in God’s light, newly created, fresh and beautiful as seen by God.

Ask  God for this beauty to be fully realized according to God’s plan for this person.  Thank God for whatever gift of healing is given.  Release the person into God’s care until you pray again.

When you are ready, move to the prayer of confession.

 

Silent Confession (silence)

Spend time in silent prayer of confession. What have you done? What have you left undone? Spend time in confession at least until the music begins to play. Then transition to thanksgiving as you feel led.

Psalm 51: 1-2

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

Confessing our sin can lead us a purity of heart and a graciousness of spirit, as we experience God’s unfailing forgiving love, and learn to see ourselves and others with compassion. “In confession, we are blessed by the posture of submission before God and by the humility that comes with the recognition that we are not paragons of virtue, but rather works in progress- and we are happy to be in such a process of character development.” (J. Elsworth Kalas, I Bought a House in Gratitude Street and Other Insights on the Good Life)

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving (music playing)

For what are you grateful?  Think back over the past 24 hours. For what do you give God thanks? What are the small and large things? What are the specific things you are grateful for from this past day? Week? Are there any struggles in which you can find something to give thanks for? (Perhaps the opportunity to learn or grow?)

Depart in Peace and Silence  This time of prayerful meditation is scheduled to begin at noon and end at 12:30 during each Wednesday of Lent. As you reach the end of your thanksgiving, leave in silence as you feel so led. You are welcome to stay later (or leave earlier).

 

 

Prayer and Meditation Service
Wednesday March 7, 2018

 

Gathering Prayer (music playing)

As we gather to begin our silent prayer together, begin by reading through this order of service. Then start to pray by focusing upon your breath. As you breathe in, picture the light of Christ entering you. As you breath out, picture exhaling a cloud with any heaviness, brokenness, or weariness that is within you. Pray in this way until the music stops, and then turn your attention to the Leader.

Unison Prayer

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day. Preserve me by your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

 

Meditation on Scripture The Leader will read the passage twice. As the Leader reads, imagine using all five of your senses to envision the story. What do you see, hear, touch, smell, taste? Establish the details in your mind, as if you are present. Imagine yourself as a part of the story. Whose perspective do you feel drawn to see from? Are you a part of the crowd? Jairus? One of the disciples? The woman in need of healing? Another perspective? As the scripture is read a second time, see the story unfold before you. Pay attention to where your attention is drawn. Is there an image, a word, or a feeling that feels important to you? God may use this to speak into your heart, or this prayer may be simply a time to be immersed in God’s Word.

Mark 6:30-44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)              Feeding the Five Thousand

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[i] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Imaging Intercession: (silence)
Take time to lift one or more persons in prayer by using images rather than words.

Relax and breath gently. Become aware of God’s presence, imagining it as light and warmth.  Allow this glory to fill your consciousness.

Choose a person who needs healing of body, mind, or heart.

Lift the person into God’s light.  Visualize God’s love bathing the person, gently getting past defenses, relieving pain, cleansing wounds.

See the person in a state of wholeness in God’s light, newly created, fresh and beautiful as seen by God.

Ask  God for this beauty to be fully realized according to God’s plan for this person.  Thank God for whatever gift of healing is given.  Release the person into God’s care until you pray again.

When you are ready, move to the prayer of confession.

 

Silent Confession (silence)

Spend time in silent prayer of confession. What have you done? What have you left undone? Spend time in confession at least until the music begins to play. Then transition to thanksgiving as you feel led.

Psalm 32:1-6a
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you

Confessing our sin can lead us a purity of heart and a graciousness of spirit, as we experience God’s unfailing forgiving love, and learn to see ourselves and others with compassion. “In confession, we are blessed by the posture of submission before God and by the humility that comes with the recognition that we are not paragons of virtue, but rather works in progress- and we are happy to be in such a process of character development.” (J. Elsworth Kalas, I Bought a House in Gratitude Street and Other Insights on the Good Life)

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving (music playing)

For what are you grateful?

Think back over the past 24 hours. For what do you give God thanks? What are the small and large things? What are the specific things you are grateful for from this past day? Week? Are there any struggles in which you can find something to give thanks for? (Perhaps the opportunity to learn or grow?)

 

Depart in Peace and Silence This time of prayerful meditation is scheduled to begin at noon and end at 12:30 during each Wednesday of Lent. As you reach the end of your thanksgiving, leave in silence as you feel so led. You are welcome to stay later (or leave earlier).