In this second part of the discussion of prayer and expanding our repertoires of types of prayer practices, Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon along with JoDee Baird, Julie Keanaaina, and Marianne Pond first introduce the practice of “centering prayer” and discuss its various elements. The panel also discusses other wonderful stances that are especially helpful in spiritual lives, especially in the area of what we can do with all those pesky thoughts that still press in on us while we are meditating or engaged in a wordless prayer practice.
In the next section, they discuss a possible place in a person’s prayer life for praying or reading set prayers. The panelists share about their experiences overcoming negative attitudes (mostly learned in Mormonism) toward this type of prayer. They also share some of their favorite prayers and readings of this kind.
In the final few moments, Dan, Julie, and Marianne talk about advantages of creating a prayer routine, especially designating a room, chair, mat, or postures for prayer. It is certainly not a requirement for an enlarged and more meaningful prayer practice, but each of the panelists speaks of their good experiences in returning again and again to a the same space.
Please listen in! There are some really interesting and helpful ideas shared here!
Links to videos about Centering Prayer:
Father Thomas Keating (Length 7:52)
Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault (Length 34:29)
Set Prayers shared during this episode:
Peace Prayer of St. Francis (Shared by Julie)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Prayer of Trust (Shared by Julie)
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Be Still My Soul (verse 3, Shared by Julie)
Be still my soul the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot love’s purest joys restored
Be still my soul when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last
Prayer of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Shared by Marianne)
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
(Excerpted from Hearts on Fire)
Shortened version of this prayer (Shared by Dan)
*This version includes the option of substituting the term “God” with “Love”
Above all, trust in the slow work of God/Love. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. Only God/Love could say what this new spirit gradually forming within us will be.
Let us give God/Love the benefit of believing that God’s/Love’s hand is leading us, and let’s accept the anxiety of feeling ourselves in suspense and incomplete.
Welcoming Prayer (Shared by Dan)
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval, and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within. Amen
The Guest House (Shared by Dan)
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
A helpful lead-in for meditation (Shared by Dan)
“Be still and know that I am God”
“Be still and know that I am”
“Be still and know”