New ways of praying

One of the books I treasured in my Spiritual Direction training is - Holy Listening, by Margeret Guenther. Of the many things I appreciate, one is Guether's encouragement to explore prayer in ways that may prove helpful for those wanting to deepen their prayer-life.

Guenther encourages folks to try new ways, times, and places of praying, especially when the present practices have become perfunctory. Her encouragement is to try not to turn prayer into work but to listen for God and let oneself be surprised. She suggests listening for God during a walk on a dirty city street, in the quiet of the country, or perhaps in a few minutes of cuddling an infant or a child, or any other space that may work for your current situation.

Along those lines I'm finding it helpful to think less about forming the right words in prayer and more about finding time and spaces that help me listen for God. When time is short in the morning, a quick step out onto my deck for some deep breaths and a few moments of silence can tune my ears for more attentive listening throughout my day. There are, of course, a multitude of helpful prayer practices and it's exciting to imagine a richer, deeper walk with God. Today I'm giving thanks for the opportunity to be a student, a learner, an explorer of prayer and of communing with the God who calls you and me beloved.


I'll close with words of blessing from John O'Donohue:

I arise today


Blessed by all things,

Wings of breath,

Delight of eyes,

Wonder of whisper,

Intimacy of touch,

Eternity of soul,

Urgency of thought,

Miracle of health,

Embrace of God.


May I live this day


Compassionate of heart,

Clear in word,

Gracious in awareness,

Couragious in thought,

Generous in love.


Joy and peace,