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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Peace of Heart

Prayer. What a HUGE aspect of our inner life. It is amazing sometimes that it is put on the back burner.

In earlier days I would toss off the expression "I'll say a prayer for you" until I came to the real awakening that prayer is work - it is intentional - it is deliberate - it should take ones attention and effort. Needless to say, I no longer let that phrase be an expression - it is a promise, a commitment.

Prayer takes practice and, like any other habit or exercise, one gets more comfortable with it the more one does it. Prayer need not be lengthy, but it needs be sincere. Check out the definition of prayer and major types of prayer in 'An Outline of the Faith' (catechism) in the Book of Common Prayer). While most of us are most familiar with prayers of thanksgiving, penitence, intercession and petition there are other kinds of prayer that bring us into the Divine Presence. Adoration, praise and contemplation are not set aside for a select few... they are as close to each of us our heartbeat.

Scripture, books of set meditations, prayers written in any number of resources can be helpful in putting our mind and intention in a prayerful mood. There are many methods which bring us to a more quiet, contemplative mode of prayer.

One may be found by visiting: for the basics of Centering Prayer and a resource for books written on this type of prayer and practice. At the inmost part of this practice is the intention to pray so deeply that one is brought to a place beyond words or language, although using a word or phrase is one way to get to that 'centered' place.

I use an entire phrase and pare it down, peeling away my "busy"ness, other thoughts, feelings, to-do lists, cares, distractions to - quite simply, wordlessly, eloquently - be in the presence of God. In this center there is absolute Peace of Heart.

Try slowing down, putting aside 20 minutes before your day starts and starting with God. Sit comfortably, settle down, silently, slowly reflecting on your own symbol, word, phrase. If your mind wanders, recall your focus. At the end of your prayer time, re-enter your surroundings after a period of silence.

Because I am verbal, sensory and analytical, I use the following with lots of space between the thought layers - borrow it if you like. But whether you use this or some other means to get to that holy place, I wish you well on your journey of prayer, my fellow traveler.

Now let me leave you with the following:

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I AM
Be still and know that I
Be still and know that
Be still and know
Be still and
Be still

4Copyright © 2005 K.L.Joanna Depue and Deacon J


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a morning person so getting up early in order to begin my day with prayer time isn't really that hard to do ... BUT ... even for me, the only way I've found to keep consistently to this practice is to commit to doing it BEFORE I GET OUT OF BED. Once the feet hit the floor, there's just no telling what may get between me and my prayer place. So, as soon as my eyes open, my mind begins to pray. Depending on the nature of the day ahead, I may even read Scripture and other "religious" things in bed before rising. I used to set two alarms, one to get me up and another to make sure I haven't fallen asleep while praying and overslept. Over the years I guess my mind kind of got used to this habit so that I wake up on my own now, at least half an hour before my alarm is set to go off ... often even earlier. To avoid the sin of overconfidence, the single alarm I set is across the room because once in a while I do fall back asleep!

6:44 PM  

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