“Our real journey in life is interior: it is a matter of growth, deepening,
and an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts.”
- Thomas Merton
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
HOW WE PRAY
Each Sunday, our worship begins with a Prayer of the Day that draws on the themes of that day’s scripture readings. You can find these prayers (“Propers”) beginning on page 18 of the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal.
We also take time during worship to pray for God’s church, the world, and all in need. These “Prayers of the People” include those who have specifically asked for prayer by our congregation. To add yourself or someone else to our prayer list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer shawls are handmade by St. Luke members who offer prayers for the future recipient as they knit. When a shawl is given to someone in need, they can be literally wrapped in loving prayer.
RESOURCES FOR PRAYER
ELCA Prayer Petitions
A downloadable resource that offers suggested prayer petitions for each day of each month:
Spiritual Directors are trained companions who walk with others through their spiritual journeys. Directors listen deeply, to you and to God on your behalf, as you make meaning out of the story of your life. Their role is to wonder, question, lament, praise, and pray alongside you in an intentional way.
If you’re interested in learning more and/or connecting with a Spiritual Director, please contact Pr. Bristol (who is a trained spiritual director herself and is regularly sees her own director.)
Praying in Color
A resource for ways to pray using doodles and drawings: prayingincolor.com
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina
Centuries-old forms of prayer that focus on silence and listening. Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating and Thomas E. Clarke offers an introduction to the practice. A video on Centering Prayer by Father Thomas Keating can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcc5_R9415Q.
Walking a Labyrinth
The Latin phrase, solvitur ambulando, “it is solved by walking” is attributed to Augustine. Walking a labyrinths is a physical form of reflective prayer. Here are some labyrinths around St. Paul, MN:
Carondelet Center at St. Catherine’s University
The David Barton Community Labyrinth and Reflective Garden at Metro State University
Global Harmony Labyrinth at Como Park
Interior Courtyard labyrinth at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Labyrinth in the woods at Edgcumbe Presbyterian Church
Or use the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator to find a labyrinth near you.
Prayers to try
A simple prayer for forgiveness:
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.
A prayer for the end of the day:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
A prayer for guidance:
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us, and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for connection with God:
God by in my head, and in my understanding.
God be in my eyes, and in my looking.
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking.
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.
God be at my end, and at my departing.
A prayer for strength (by Martin Luther):
Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have. I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; you are upright. With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give. Amen
A prayer of surrender (By Ignatius Loyola):
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me. Amen.