Tag Archives: transform

Look Deeply. Pray. Meditate.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Look Deeply. Pray. Meditate.

When I think about meditation and mindfulness now, my breath automatically starts to slow down. I don’t necessarily have to begin the practice of mindful meditation and prayer. It often just starts to happen.

Yet, this is not the only thing that happens during meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh had some excellent insights in the small section of the book I read tonight, including where he talked about the practice of meditation giving us the opportunity to heal and transform.[1] I don’t know about you, but I particularly need the chance to heal and transform. I often feel broken and hurting. When I am offered the possibility of healing and transformation, I’d be foolish not to take it!

Slowing down, slowing my breathing, stretching my neck, back and shoulders—all of these are so helpful to my relaxation. Preparation for a time of prayer, of healing and transformation. And then, even if I quiet myself for just a few minutes, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Finally, as I enter into that quiet place of mindful meditation, I also have the opportunity to see clearly. To look deeply into what surrounds me on the outside as well as what is inside of me. This does not completely banish fear and anxiety, but it certainly diminishes it. Anything that lessens fear and anxiety is definitely something I support. And, mindful meditation certainly does that.

Thank You, God, for this spiritual practice. Thank You for leading me to it, and giving me the opportunity to practice prayer and mindful meditation. Amen.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 31.

Worship = School of Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 13, 2015

my heart saying a prayer

Worship = School of Prayer

As we have talked and thought about prayer the past few days, praying can be described in many different ways. Today we’ll talk about a additional way of describing prayer.

Have you ever thought about how worship informs us about prayer? Teaches us, mentors us? Worship is another big boost to prayer.

Yes, worship is often a big production, in many assemblies and religious settings in the United States. Many parts to worship, and not necessarily all quiet, peaceful, serene. Some parts of worship can be downright loud, or noisy, or even strident. We—the congregation, choir, and minister—perform our true and meaningful worship of God. No matter how loud or soft, no matter how many or how few people take part in the worship service, God is glorified. And, we are changed.

As Rev. Howell says, “In worship we offer ourselves and what we have to God. In worship we are even transformed into people we would never be had we not come.” [1] Week in and week out, our worship and our praying so often become inextricably intertwined. In and of myself, I know I am prideful, selfish, and mean-spirited, at heart. I have other faults and places I fall short, too. These attitudes and ways of being are barriers to true communication with God.

What on earth can I do about this dreadful situation I find myself in? Yes, I can pray alone. That sometimes—even often gets me into God’s presence. But what about a booster shot, or some kind of focus for the prayer? Instead of individual prayer, why can’t we transform it into corporate prayer? Instead of individual worship, we do the same, and transform it into corporate worship.

So, instead of merely observing my weekly worship service, sitting on the sidelines, I can get involved. I can worship God with others. We all can humbly offer our weekly worship to God. And as we gather together week after week, we may be surprised to find that God shows up, too. So often, worship is a concentrated lens for us to become more focused in prayer.

Weekly prayer. Regular prayer. Corporate prayer informs our individual prayer times, enabling us to pray alone with more facility, openness and faithfulness. Not to mention caring, encouragement, support and love. A great addition to the school of prayer, indeed. Thanks, God.

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 47.