Glenn Memorial UMC
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

Prayer Guide

 
 
 
Centering PrayerThe parlor (room 307) is open for a space of quiet, centering prayer at 7:00pm on Thursdays.  Contact:  Luther Lewis llewis1662@aol.com
 
 
This prayer guide is written to help you explore prayer, to provide a structure for you to use as you pray, and to help you develop a daily prayer "habit."
 
“… keep up the life of simple prayer and inward worship. Keep it up throughout the day. Let inward prayer be your last act before you fall asleep and the first act when you awake.”
-Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. 1992.
 
Scripture
To start each prayer time, a Scripture passage is listed for each day during the week. For Sundays, the lectionary Scripture passages are listed under the scripture portion and the Psalm is the closing prayer. 
 
Praying the Scripture
Two options for praying the Scripture are given for the Scripture passage. They are Lectio Divina and The Ignatian Method. Both are ancient and offer rich rewards for those who develop a regular practice of prayer using them. Following is a brief description of both of these options.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina (sacred reading) is the slow, reverent reading of scripture, pausing briefly as one is moved to prayer and then returning to the reading. It is not Bible study nor is it the same as reading the Scriptures for the purpose of private edification. It is not spiritual reading. Several forms are practiced. Described here is the scholastic form and is comprised of four steps. When the daily Scripture is long, only a part of it should be used for this option. (Suggested verses noted.) Read the entire passage and then use the suggested verses for Lectio.
  • Lectio (Read). Read the passage at your normal reading speed. Read the Scripture a second time and be mindful of any word or words that seem to strike you in some special way.
  • Meditatio (Meditate). Read the passage again. Enter the passage fully. Be present to it; let it engage you completely and experience it personally. Ponder upon the words. Reflect on what God may be saying to you with this passage. (It is important to remember that this is an exercise of the imagination. Involve yourself subjectively; relate it to your life and be docile.)
  • Oratio (Pray). Read the passage again. Respond by offering your reflection to God in prayer. Converse with God about your experience.
  • Contemplatio (Contemplate). Read the passage again. Rest in God's presence, being open to God's word for you. Open yourself to the grace God wants to give you. That is, empty your conscious mind, give up control, wait quietly, and patiently watch and listen for God's action in your life. Now ruminate on the passage all day.

The Ignatian Method

This approach invites you to enter the narrative, picturing the situation and identifying with a character that populates the drama. It is sometimes called Dialogue/Imagination. Read the passage and choose a character to be in the scene. Then free your stream of consciousness to flow into the dialogue between characters as you read it again. This may eventually lead you to dialogue beyond what is given in the text, a dialogue that becomes part of your prayer. It is difficult to use this method when passages of Scripture do not have characters in them. One then must place the self in the time and place. Suggestions are given in either case. These approaches to praying the Scriptures are rich and fruitful for people who can readily exercise their God-given imagination. Pick one of them and try it.

Prayer Suggestions

Specific suggestions for inclusion in your prayers are given. These suggestions include prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, and examen. The suggestions are just that, suggestions. They are not meant to exclude your prayers of the heart but, hopefully, will broaden your prayers. If you feel they are inappropriate, or if you are uncomfortable with any of them, do not use them. Remember Glenn Church and its ministries as you pray. Write any prayer concerns or people who you want to include in your prayers on the pages in the back. Also, write any answers on the back page.

Closing Prayer

A Scripture selection is listed to close each day's prayer session. Instead of reading the Scripture for information or inspiration, lift the Scripture up to God as a prayer offering.
Different people have different prayer needs and/or concerns and many have time restraints. Feel free to use the options and prayer suggestions however, you feel comfortable. But do pray.
We invite you to join our new e-mail prayer service so you can receive prayer requests and know about those who are sick or grieving, new members, and any specific prayer concerns at Glenn. Call the office or send an e-mail giving your e-mail address requesting to be added to the prayer list server. Prayers can be requested by sending an e-mail to bettyjoc@glennumc.org.

Copyright 2008, Luther Lewis.