September 5, 2018
by Louise Westfall
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:17
When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases … for God knows what you need before you ask. Matthew 6:7-8
Prayer is the language of the soul, and like human speech is learned through example and practice. Our own preconceived notion of prayer may become a barrier to praying if we think it has to be done in a certain way, with religious vocabulary and a formal pattern. What if instead we thought of prayer as conversation with God who loves us and desires a lively relationship with us? We can listen as well as speak. We can share thoughts, experiences, concerns as we do with a good friend or close family member. We can worry less about particular words, and focus instead on the Divine/human connection.
Here’s one way to practice prayer “on the go.” The words of a hymn are interspersed with imagery, reflection, and mindfulness, meant to remind us of God’s presence with us always.
God be the love to search and keep me; God be the prayer to move my voice; God, be the strength to now uphold me; O Christ, surround me. O Christ, surround me.
Picture the protective presence of God surrounding you.
Bind to myself the Name of Holy, great cloud of witnesses enfold; prophets, apostles, angels witness. O Christ, surround me. O Christ, surround me.
Name one person who has shown you Christ’s presence.
Brightness of sun and glow of moonlight, flashing of lightning, strength of wind, depth of the sea to soil of planet: O Christ, surround me. O Christ, surround me.
Notice the beauty of the natural world around you and consider how it witnesses to God’s grace.
Walking behind to hem my journey, going ahead to light my way, and from beneath, above, and all ways, O Christ surround me. O Christ, surround me.
What in your life needs illumined right now? Trust Christ to show you the way.
Christ in the eyes of all who see me, Christ in the ears that hear my voice, Christ in the hearts of all who know me: O Christ, surround me. O Christ, surround me.
How do people look different if we see Christ in them?
Make an Intention
All through the day. Walk. Breathe. All through the night. Rest. Breathe. O Christ, surround me. O Christ, surround me. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20