Gathered for worship, or beginning prayer time, some people bow, kneel, or make the sign of the cross. How do you mark your entry to prayer? What other movements might express your feelings, beliefs, your prayer – especially today? Consider how you embody anger, joy, sadness, trust, anxiety, longing, or thanksgiving. Play with praying in your body this week.
Whatever your prayer, put a shape to your words to embody the intention. For example: We believe and say that Jesus loves us. But it can be hard to feel that love. Try wrapping yourself in a hug. Stay there. Feel the warmth of your hands holding yourself. In this shape, say “Jesus loves me.” How does that feel? What other emotions might you embody in prayerful conversation with God? Punch a pillow. Skip. Sway. Bend low. Reach high. Give praying your body a try.
Instead of putting a shape to words, do the reverse. Let your body move first and then notice what is being communicated. You might put on music and see what comes. The dance could begin with one finger. What develops. How do you feel?
Think about how you bring your body into gathered worship in community. If you’re at home now, what elements of that embodied practice are you missing? How might you bring these elements into your private prayer time at home?
Fasting is one of the most familiar ways we pray with our bodies, especially in Lent. If you’re considering fasting this year, consider how the practice can be about more than simple deprivation. What are you hungering for? What consumes you? How might your fast help to feed your deepest desire and nourish your soul?
Ash Wednesday | We invite you to join our live-streamed Ash Wednesday liturgy from the Monastery Chapel on Wednesday, February 17, 12:30pm. You can access the live feed at ssje.org/chapel or on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.
Facebook Live | Join Br. Jim Woodrum on Facebook each Thursday at 7:15pm for a live conversation with a special guest. This week, Br. Jim will be in conversation with Charlotte Greeson, from Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. We hope to see you there!
Embodied Prayer Teaching | Br. Luke Ditewig is offering an online version of his full embodied prayer program, which you can do any time. Learn more >