While the summer break is happening and many people are taking a well-earned rest, we have replaced our usual weekly cafe church with a series of prayer stations. We are invited, over the coming weeks, to spend time involved with each activity, quietly reflecting on what we read, see, think, or do.
The first I picked up was a writing exercise; no prizes for guessing why I picked that one!
The writing station consisted of two parts from Approaches to Prayer.
Part One: What time is it?
Consider the twenty-four-hour clock and imagine where you are in it (i.e. what time of day) and why you believe you are at that point. Think about the things you might have wanted to do, have done, are still to do. At that time of the clock, which would you chose to do, put aside and complete now?
Part Two: Reflect on the last twenty-four hours.
The second part included a reflection on the last twenty-four hours. There are some excellent journalling prompts if that’s your thing:
- Where you were
- What you did
- What you said
- What was said to you
- How you felt throughout
and so on…
Again this is all a writing exercise, and I guess the aim of it is to make you think about what has taken place, how you fit into it, how God fits in with it and what was your relationship with God like throughout it all. The reflection is in several parts:
- Pick a few times from the day for which you would like to thank God
- Choose events which caused you concern or anxiety, and offer them to God
- Are there times in the day where you marred God’s image in you
- Identify a point in the day where
- God touched your life
- God was revealed to you
- God spoke to you
- Looking back, think about the insights you have gained
- Did you miss something that God was trying to say to you at the time?
- Is there something that God is encouraging you to do?
I wrote about two pages of stuff, which is all very personal to me. If I managed to keep a journal, I don’t think I’d be short of things to put in it. Have a go at any or all of the things that this prayer station provided, it can help you destress by offloading your thoughts, and it’ll certainly help you sleep better at night. Dump all of your cares before sleep, so your mind doesn’t dwell on them. Use a diary, a journal or better yet, talk it through with God via prayer. Remember, He already knows your innermost thoughts, your worries and your hopes and dreams – talk about them and share them openly with God, take off those chains of anxiety and fear that bind you, and trust in Him to guide you.