Prayer Shapes

Have you ever been told to pray?  I was thinking the other day about how many times I have been told that I should pray.  Sometime I was even told what the content of those prayers should be…thanksgiving or confession or requests or praise/adoration.  But I also thought about how I often wasn’t told or didn’t tell to my congregation the methods or patterns available for prayers.  So I tended to what I knew…saying prayers in a linier format as if reading sentences off of a page.  That is a great method to use for many of us but at times even I felt like I needed some other format.  Have you? 

Prayer doesn’t have to be all linier and page formatted.  Instead it can take a variety of shapes.  It can take the form of art where you finger paint (or use a brush if you must) your feelings or those hard to express thoughts/emotions.  It might take the shape of music.  It might take the form of sculpting clay or sand on a beach.  Its shape might be a journal or a letter to God.  It could take the form of an old chant, prayer of another, or poem that powerfully captures your heart. I know of some who pray in pictures; images that come to might that express their hopes, fears or hurts. Others pray by using repetition or by using patterns (e.g. Stations of the Cross, rosary) that keep their mind focused. Is there value for you in using movement as the expression of our prayers (e.g. dance, positions such as kneeling or prostrating).

What shapes or methods do you pray in and teach and are there other forms that could help you and those you lead pray more powerfully or completely?


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