Lent 2017: Focus Word and Prayer Practice Cards

Lent, Prayer

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During the season of Lent, we sent children and youth home with a take home card which reminded them of the Coloring Prayer and Focus Word for the week on one side, and the Breath Prayer, Seated Posture, and Whole Body Posture for our Prayer Practice of the week.  Here, I have combined the whole season of cards as one resource.

Confess:  Prayer Practice 1 Confess

Others:  Prayer Practice 2 Others

Self:  Prayer Practice 3 Self

Thanks:  Prayer Practice 4 Thanks

Listen: Prayer Practice 5 Listen

Praise:Prayer Practice 6 Praise

Here are the links to learning each prayer posture:
Confess:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-1-confess/
Others:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-2-others/
Self:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-3-self/
Thanks:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-4-thanks/
Listen:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-5-listen/
Praise:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-6-praise/

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Lent 2017: Focus Word Coloring Prayers

Lent, Prayer

During the season of Lent, we made a coloring sheet that featured the Focus Word for the week.  Here, I have combined the whole season of coloring sheets as one resource.

Confess:  Coloring Prayer-Confess

Others:  Coloring Prayer-Others

Self: Coloring Prayer-Self

Thanks:  Coloring Prayer-Thanks

Listen: Coloring Prayer-Listen

Praise:  Coloring Prayer-Praise

Dead:  Coloring Prayer-Dead

Alive:  Coloring Prayer-Alive

Holy Week 2017 Coloring Prayer Focus Word Good Friday: Dead

Lent, Prayer

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One way to really let the Focus Word and Verse to soak in is to color them while you pray.  I print them on white cardstock because I find that no matter what art supplies I use, it doesn’t soak through.  Also, it is easier to frame or preserve a sturdier piece of paper.  Below, please find our resources for Good Friday.  I used a limited, somber color palette to reflect the mood of the day.

Focus Word:  Dead

Focus Verse: “Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.” (Matthew 27:50 NRSV)

Coloring Page:  Coloring Prayer Good Friday 17

Your finished product might look something like this, or completely different:

PiC Good Friday017.jpg

Holy Week 2017 Seated Prayer Sequence

Lent, Prayer

Here is a way to use all of the seated prayer practices that we have learned during Lent in one long sequence.  It is adapted from the Prayers of the People that we prayed in church during this Lenten Season.  May your Holy Week be truly blessed.

PREPARATION

Lifting my voice and turning toward God, I pray for the church, the earth, and all who are in need.  (long pause for personal prayer preparation)

CONFESSION

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I bring my prayers of confession to you, O Lord.
(pause for personal prayer)
Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.  Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

INTERCESSION

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I bring my prayers for others before you, O Lord.
(pause for personal prayer)
I pray especially for those I name before you now.
Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

PETITION

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I bring my prayers for myself to you, O Lord.
(pause for personal prayer)
Be present with me in the best of times, in the worst of times, and in every time in between.
Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

THANKSGIVING

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I bring my prayers of thanks to you, O Lord.
(pause for personal prayer)
Help me to recognize the many blessings that you bring to me, day by day.
Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

CONTEMPLATION

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I ask you to open my ears as I take the time to listen to you, O Lord.
(long pause for personal prayer)
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

PRAISE

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I bring my praise to you, O Lord.
(pause for personal prayer)
You are love.  You are hope.  You are forgiveness.  You are peace.
Hear me, O God.  Your mercy is great.

CONCLUSION

Into Your hands, merciful God, I commend all for whom I pray, trusting in Your steadfast love; through Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.

Here are the links to learning each prayer posture:
Confess:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-1-confess/
Others:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-2-others/
Self:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-3-self/
Thanks:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-4-thanks/
Listen:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-5-listen/
Praise:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-6-praise/

Holy Week 2017 Whole Body Prayer Flow

Lent, Prayer

During Holy Week, we are going to take all that we have learned about the different types of prayer and turn them into a prayerful flow. This post will talk about the whole body flow; another post will give the seated flow with prayer prompts like we have been using in church for the entire season of Lent.

Centering: Child’s Pose

On your knees, forehead to floor, arms extended along floor above your head.  Knees may be together or in a “V” from your hips.

I begin every flow I do in Child’s Pose. That’s probably because I do yoga in the morning, and I am generally not well-rested enough to be a morning person. There is something about surrendering into this pose that centers my mind and gets me ready to begin. As I always say at the beginning of church, “Let us take a few moments of quiet to prepare our hearts and minds for the worship of God.” Take at least three breaths to prepare to begin your prayer.

Confession: Bound Pose

On your knees, knees together, forehead to floor, hands clasped under your seat.

“We are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves.” Take at least three breaths to list your sins before God. Perhaps you can list them on the inhale, and release them to God on the exhale.

Intercession: Butterfly

Seated with soles of feet touching in a circle.  Can sit tall or forward fold, as shown.

Imagine all of the people who you would like to pray for within the circle of your legs. Take at least three breaths as you gather and release their names to God.

Petition: Legs out, Toes Up, Hands on Heart

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Seated with both legs together, toes pointing toward heaven, both hands on your heart.

What are the needs and desires that are on your heart today? Imagine them going from your heart, through your body, and up to heaven through the tips of your toes. Take at least three breaths as you release your heart’s desires to God.

Thanks: Cross-Legged Hug

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Seated cross legged, arms hugging self, elbows nestled into knees.

I have always felt that enumerating your blessings is like getting a hug from God. As you list those people, places, things, and events for which you wish to give thanks, take at least three breaths.

Listen: Half-Lotus Palms Up

Seated in a half-lotus position, palms open and facing up on knees.

Sometimes when we pray, it is a very one-sided conversation, with us doing all of the talking. Take some time hear to listen, to allow God’s presence to fill you up. I recommend three to six breaths here.

Praise: Half-Lotus Arms Extended

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Seated in a half-lotus position, arms and hands extended toward heaven in a gesture of praise.

Praise is a little different than thanksgiving, in that it gives us the opportunity to meditate on who God is. As you ponder all of the aspects of God (peace, love, forgiveness, grace, etc.), take at least three breaths.

**You can stop here with a brief pause at heart center and bow your “Amen.” Or, you can continue the cycle again, this time with some standing positions.**

Confession: Bound

On your knees, forehead to floor, hands clasped under your seat.

What do you need to confess? Three or more breaths.

Intercession: Butterfly

Seated with soles of feet touching in a circle.  Can sit tall or add a forward fold.

For whom do you need to pray? Three or more breaths.

Petition: Garland

Squat with knees open, elbows to the inside of knees, and palms together at heart center.

What is on your heart and mind? Three or more breaths.

Thanksgiving: Forward Fold

Standing with arms hanging down or resting on the ground.  Neck and knees soft and released.

What blessings remind you that God is God and you are not? Three or more breaths.

Listen: Mountain

Standing with feet at shoulder width and all corners grounded.  Arms turn slightly outward and palms open and relaxed.

What is God trying to say to you? Three to six breaths.

Praise: Tree Arms Extended

Standing on one foot, other foot anchored above or below standing knee.  Arms extended toward heaven.

What aspect of God is worthy to be praised today? Three breaths each side.

**You can end here in Mountain pose with three cleansing breaths, a bow at heart center, and an “Amen.” You could also continue with one more cycle. This next cycle is a time to quiet the mind and focus on attitude in posture and breath.**

Confession: Bound Pose

On your knees, forehead to floor, hands clasped under your seat.

An attitude of confession. Three breaths.

Intercession: Butterfly

Seated with soles of feet touching in a circle.  Can sit tall or add a forward fold.

Our hearts extended towards others. Three breaths.

Petition: Legs out, Toes Up, Hands on Heart

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Seated with both legs out together, toes pointing toward heaven, both hands on your heart.

Our own hearts extended toward God. Three breaths.

Thanks: Cross-Legged Hug

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Seated cross legged, arms hugging self, elbows nestled into knees.

An attitude of thankfulness. Three breaths.

Listen: Half-Lotus Palms Up

Seated in half-lotus position, palms open and facing up on knees.

An expectant attitude. Six breaths.

Praise: Half-Lotus Arms Extended

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Seated in a half-lotus position, arms and hands extended toward heaven in a gesture of praise.

An attitude of praise. Three breaths.

Centering: Child’s Pose

On your knees, forehead to floor, arms extended along the floor above your head.  Knees may be together or in a “V” from your hips.

What else remains? Stay in this pose until your time with God has reached a conclusion.

Amen.
A blessed Holy Week to you and yours.

Here are the links to learning each prayer posture:
Confess:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-1-confess/
Others:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-2-others/
Self:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-3-self/
Thanks:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-4-thanks/
Listen:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-5-listen/
Praise:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/lent-2017-prayer-posture-week-6-praise/

Lent 2017 Coloring Prayer Focus Word Week 6: Praise

Lent, Prayer

Praise PiC001.jpg

Each Sunday during Lent, our parish will have a Focus Word and a Focus Verse.  One way to really let the Focus Word and Verse to soak in is to color them while you pray.  I print them on white card stock because I find that no matter what art supplies I use, it doesn’t soak through.  Also, it is easier to frame or preserve a sturdier piece of paper.  Below, please find our resources for the fifth week in Lent.

Focus Word:  Praise

Focus Verse:  “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9b NRSV)

Coloring Page:  Coloring Prayer Praise 17

Your finished product might look something like this, or completely different:

PiC Praise017.jpg

Lent 2017 Prayer Posture Week 6: Praise

Lent, Prayer

This year on Sundays during Lent, we will be exploring both six major types of prayer and the prayer postures that go with them. Each week will include a breath prayer, a sitting posture, and a whole body posture. These practices are inspired by several Holy Yoga resources that I have researched or experienced over the past couple of years. I hope that this resource will help to deepen your conversations with God this Lent.

Breath Prayer: a breath prayer is a simple prayer that you can pray as you focus on your breath. Usually, there is a word or phrase to think or say while you breathe in, and a word or phrase to think or say as you breathe out.

Sitting Posture: we are not always in the position to use our whole bodies to pray, or our physical limitations may preclude us from some of the suggested whole body poses. Sitting posture poses were developed with these circumstances in mind.

Whole Body Posture: these postures pair a yoga pose with a general type of prayer. They help to engage your whole body, mind, and spirit in the practice of prayer.

WEEK SIX: Praise
The sixth type of prayer that we are exploring is praise. It is the type of prayer where we praise God for who God is. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is a hymn of praise, for example.

Breath Prayer:
You are. God.

Seated:
Extend your arms and hands fully above your head or hold hands, palms up, at shoulder level.

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Whole body:
Sitting on the floor in a half lotus position, fully extend your arms and hands above your head. Remember to keep your back straight.
You could also do half lotus tree pose:

Here is the prayer card that goes with this practice:  Praise Prayer Cards 17
Over the course of Lent, the cards will combine to make a cross.