a bigger story meets our own
God reveals the story of relationship between the Creator and the created in many ways – it is a revelation which is on-going. The Bible is a very particular record of how human beings have met the God of life in their own life experience.
The Christian believes that Jesus shows us in human form what God is like and through the Spirit continues to reveal to us eternal truths about who we are and who we are called to become – In Scripture we have one way of reflecting on these truths about our human being-ness and a God-with-us.
Some Helps with ‘praying’ Scripture
- Whatever passage you are reflecting on – take time to relax, and to trust that whatever your present mood or feeling it is OK to come as you are – this is the ‘you’ that God wants to relate to – so ‘say it as it is’.
- Ask for what you need – how would you like God to be for you – how do you want to relate to God?
- Take time to read the passage – let its mood meet you – don’t try to work at it or strive for meanings – be with it, open and generous to
- what God might want to touch in you …
when you have read the passage maybe a few times, put it to one side and wait on God to pray in you in the way God knows will open you responsively
- Sometimes it may be a word or a phrase which seems to capture your attention – don’t feel you have to rush on – stay with it – rock it and hold it deep within you – it may lead to images, pictures from your own life experience or just simple stillness with its mystery
- sometimes you may find yourself entering a scene or a story as if you were really there – trust the Spirit which is leading you in imagination – you may ‘see’ the place, the people, the events – you might sense yourself there not so much through pictorial images but through feelings and awareness…
- Let yourself ‘wander’ in the scene feeling what you feel, relating to people there, allowing your own life experience to mingle…
- At the end of the reflection time take a few minutes to be with Jesus, God, the Spirit – just as one good friend is with another – naming feelings, striking thoughts, images … letting a conversation develop … given how you were at the beginning of the prayer, what you asked for, how do you feel now? … say it as it is – there is no ‘place’ you should have arrived at – whatever’s happened will reveal something to you of how God is touching your story.
After the Reflection Time
Reviewing the Prayer
- Become aware of the striking moods and feelings of the prayer time- don’t judge or analyse – just notice
- Note down where the energy seems to be – warm feeling or feelings of possibility, hope, comfort etc.
- Note down too any feelings which were less comfortable – any boredom or feeling of distance from yourself.
Deepening this experience
- Don’t be in a hurry to move on to another passage or new content for prayer
- For your next period of reflection return to the key areas of feelings and insights which you noted in your review
- Begin by staying with, enjoying and relishing what was most life giving in the previous prayer time – let it be deepened in you – let the essence of it settle in you affirming you and building you up
- It may be then that you return to anything which you noted as less comforting, distancing – asking to be shown if staying with this reveals something which is being opened up for owning, befriending and choice
Based on the leaflet in ‘Handbook for Weeks of Accompanied Prayer’ by Isabel Gregory and MaryRose Fitzsimmons.