Saturday, June 30, 2007

praying the news

We are surrounded by news. Headlines pop up on our computers, newsclips break into our television watching, stories fill our papers. Often, the news can feel overwhelming: too much violence, suffering, corruption, greed.

Prayer seeks to transform the world. We invite you to pray—not in spite of the news, or to get away from the news, but through the news.

Sit down somewhere where you can read the news, online or in print. Breathe deeply in, and out, quieting your spirit and remembering that this world is God’s.

Choose a story that your are drawn to. Read it. Remember all the people who are affected by this piece of news.

Write or speak a prayer, lifting up all those who are affected, and asking for God’s guidance and transformation. Close your prayer with these words:

O God of all creation, we give thanks that you are present in all the world, and in all of our histories. Continue to help us see your presence, and make us a part of shaping this world as you imagine it can be: a place of justice and of peace. Amen.

Monday, June 25, 2007


A labyrinth is a walking meditation with three stages – the journey in; the center; and the journey out. It is not like a maze with a choice of turns – it
has one path. Walking a labyrinth is a chance to pause, slow down, pray, encounter the divine and be re-energized for the next stage in life’s journey.
You can trace the path of the labyrinth in the picture with your finger as an aid to prayer and meditation or imagine the journey.

Entering the labyrinth
Find a quiet place where you can sit and relax. Take a moment to quiet yourself and to breathe deeply. You may find it helpful to light a candle to remind you of the presence of God.

You are on a journey towards the center of the labyrinth and back out again. As you walk reflect on your life’s journey and relationship with God; walk slowly.

Use the journey into the center to slow down, to let go of busyness and stress, and to prepare to meet with God. Sometimes you will be close to the center and sometimes close to the edge – are you close or far from God in your journey?

At the center this is holy space - a space to be with God in prayer. Listen – is there something God might be saying to you?

When you are ready begin the journey out – as you do, take your encounter with God with you back into the world.

Pray for the presence of God in the situations you are facing in everyday life.

As you finish the journey offer yourself afresh to God.

(words adapted from

Monday, June 18, 2007


Many of us at some point in our lives feel the need to be forgiven and to forgive ourselves. Yet it is easy to feel trapped, unable to get past mistakes we have made and the scars they leave.

At the heart of the Christian tradition is forgiveness - forgiveness from God and God’s help in allowing us to forgive ourselves and to change. This exercise uses our breathing to help us to accept God’s forgiveness and to forgive ourselves.

Breathing exercise
Find a quiet place where you can sit and relax. Take a moment to quiet yourself and to breathe deeply. You may find it helpful to light a candle to remind you of the presence of God. Begin to take notice of your breathing – as you breathe in and as you breathe out.

Focus on the issue you feel burdening you. And then as you slowly breathe in and out pray these prayers. Think of the burden when you breathe out and God’s forgiveness and acceptance of you when you breathe in.

Breathe in love
Breathe out hate

Breathe in acceptance
Breathe out separation

Breathe in forgiveness
Breathe out blame

Breathe in peace
Breathe out anxiety

Breathe in life
Breathe out death

Breathe in gentleness
Breathe out tension

Breathe in God’s presence
Breathe in God’s acceptance and forgiveness

(Text adapted from

Thursday, June 7, 2007



Sharing our own stories from our encounters with God has been a part of Christian life since its beginning; the story of Jesus’ power has meaning as it changes the lives of those who seek to follow him.

Testimony is not coercing others to think just like you do. It is sharing authentically about what you have experienced.

God’s story is written as we live it in our own lives. Stories and testimony let us name that God is a part of who we are. Testimony invites us to add our own life’s stories to the living testament of God’s presence in our world.

Often, we tell others about great new restaurants we’ve found. Testimony gives us a chance to tell others about the faith that delights and sustains us.

Take time, when you are talking with others, to tell them ways that God is involved in your life. Share about times when God’s presence makes a difference to you, or when your faith challenges you to see something differently.

Take time, also, to ask others about how they experience the Divine. Let your stories sit together as testament to a mystery that goes beyond our understanding.