179: Experiences with Prayer

As someone is experiencing a shift of faith, it is very common to find a need to change their prayer practices. Likely, their view of God has changed, which leads to confusion about how to approach this new Being or Source. What used to be simple and connective no longer feels the same. Should they stop praying altogether? Many do.

In this episode, Terri Petersen and Mark Crego join LDF host Dan Wotherspoon for a discussion of these shifts, as well as how their forms of prayer and experiences in prayer have changed? They discuss common understandings of prayer and how “blessings” or “answers” that come after prayer are often shared–in many cases in ways that discourage others who have not had their prayers answered.

They talk about “public” prayers and “private” ones, and the functions of each. If personal prayer is intended to draw us closer to God/Spirit/Creative Energies, how have they found their deeper connections with divinity? What are their past and present prayer practices? What experiences have they had in prayer?

This is a great episode! Listen in!

Set Prayers:

Welcoming Prayer
Thomas Keating

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

Prayer of Trust
Thomas Merton

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.

Prose that Can Be Converted to Prayer:

The Guest House
Jellaludin Rumi

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.

Trust in the Slow Work of God
Teilhard de Chardin (adapted by the Living School)

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.    

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