Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30th

31 Days of Jesus!

Day 30 - Praying with a prayer shawl.

I saw this video the other day [I know that it's easy to skip over these videos, but the rest of the blog will make a lot more sense if you take the time to watch it]:

Watching it, I just fell in love with the idea of praying with a prayer shawl. And then, as luck [or God] would have it, I happened to acquire a beautiful one the other day at a clothing swap party. My friend, Amie, saw it first. She had every right to take it as her own, but she is amazingly giving and let me have it instead. :)

I haven't done much research on it. As I'm sure you've surmised, I'm drawn like bees to honey to most all spiritual disciplines [except, notably, for one** [see below for explanation]]. In A Shaping of a Life, Phyllis Tickle writes that her life has ultimately been that of prayer and/or praying. I think mine, on some level, is leading me in a kind of inescapable way toward spiritual disciplines. Although I find myself to be a clumsy disciplinarian.

I did find this website, and I love their ministry. I would recommend perusing their site. I definitely learned a lot.

I don't know much about my new prayer shawl. The friend who'd previously owned it said that she got it from another friend who used it as such. It is gorgeous and someone could just as easily use it as a curtain. But when I put it on earlier today, it seemed to have a calming effect. Like the prayer room at Wheaton Woods last year [and the one in Charlotte], it may just be my imagination [which does have a tendency to run wild] - but I think I can feel residual prayers from a previous owner.

I hope I am not ruining it by typing with it on right now. My netbook does NOT have a calming effect on me.

I think [I think] any old shawl [or blanket or scarf] will do. Perhaps if it has special meaning to you, it may bear more significance in your mind.

The website I referenced above talked about it being a comforting thing. I love that. It's a visceral reminder about God's comforting joy. Mine is not snuggly warm. But, it's beauty helps remind me of God's majesty - something, oddly enough, I have been known to forget.

Also, the mentioned above website offers prayers to pray if you put the thing on and think, "Okay, now what?" If nothing else, you could just pray the Lord's prayer:

"Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
Forever and ever,

You could also just pray whatever comes to mind - whatever you want to talk to God about. No rules, I don't think. Just quiet contemplation. This is definitely one of those practices where you will generally see it's "fruit" not in the practice itself [although that could happen] put rather in your day to day life living.

**Discipline I'm not drawn to: Fasting. I'm not inclined to deprive myself. Shocking, I know. ;) I'm working on it, though. I don't have to be drawn to it to reap it's benefits when I do it.

Happy New Year's Adam!


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