Embodied Prayer – Shape

This caught me by surprise. I watched in wonder at on the bank of the Merrimack River at Emery House.

As you watch, what do you notice?


Sometimes we move slowly, steadily, deliberately.



With effort over much distance. Turtles like this go up the bluff to lay their eggs in the field. This was the home stretch of a more difficult journey.

We may move with ease or challenge, with pain and with glee. Sometimes we are spontaneous and sometimes prompted by others.

The same is true of our prayer. How would you describe your prayer today or this season?

What do you see or feel in watching this turtle? How are you similar or different?


Take a few deep breaths.

Thank God for what you see. Notice how you move. Listen for what is restoring and life-giving.

What do you remember? What might you be invited to return to?


How did you feel doing that?

What is it like putting movements with words?

Was there a movement that stood out to you as more inviting? Why might that be?

Was there a movement that was challenging or for which you felt resistance? Why might that be?

Take some time to reflect and journal about this experience.


from the SSJE Rule of Life, Chapter 44:

“Each us of has been given the divine spark of creativity and imagination, and as we grow in our conversion to Christ, so should our gratitude and reverence for these gifts. Fear and inertia quench the spirit. Faith in the Giver of all good gifts will lead us to use the opportunities our life provides for developing our creativity and using our imagination. …

Our stretching towards fullness of life is an act of faith in Christ who is the living Word through whom all things have their being. … We are called to realize his life-giving presence within our own selves and bodies and to share in his ongoing creation.”

44. Maintaining our Health and Creativity


How do you realize God’s life-giving presence in your body?

How might praying with movements such as these shapes–a creative and imaginative expression–help you attend to and hear God?

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