“Prayer: The Heart’s Language” on April 3, 2015

15 Apr

Sandy Prouty, Minister of Children and Families at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church facilitated and spoke on the topic of prayer the Good Friday before Easter.  It was an intimate group due to coinciding spring break, according to Beth Ball who took wonderful notes on the day’s discussion.

Mom Time members discuss prayer

Mom Time members discuss prayer

Prayer was explored with a view to reflect on our own honest perspectives and to consider the perspectives of our children. One theme was to think about different forms of prayer from traditional, personal, active, and child-inpired and ways to add prayer in our lives.  The group was encouraged to work on writing and drawing personal prayer with art materials, as pictured above. Sandy stressed the importance principle of “no rules to prayer practice”, adding that we should expand and explore with our own children. One can encourage spontaneity as in singing a little song, saying blessings aloud for those we meet, or while driving, for example, when an an ambulance passes with sirens blaring and lights flashing we can ask our children to join us in blessing those who may be hurt, before meals and bedtime, among other situations.

Sandy used Scripture to open the topic.  On concerning prayer, she read the from Matthew 6: 5-13 (New Revised Standard or NRSV).  Verses 9-13: “Pray then in this way”:  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.”

She shared many quotes and meaningful stories from various sources.  Here are some:

  • “I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe…that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple.  Prayer is private, even when we pray with others. It is communication from the heart to that which surpasses understanding. Let’s say it is communication from one’s heart to God.” -Anne Lamott from Help, Thanks, Wow
  • “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays” -Soren Kierkegaard
  • “Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them” – Mahalia Jackson
  • “Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of  your thankful thoughts.” -Alan Cohen
  • “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden
  • “I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.” – Harvey Fierstein
  • “Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”  -Mahatma Gandhi

The speaker expanded the discussion to include explaining the Easter story, facing challenges and losses in life, prayers of Supplication (requests), and sin.  On the topic of sin, Sandy explained that the term sin originates from archery, meaning “missing the target”.  We should think of it as making an error, and to encourage children and ourselves to try again.  This concept helps us understand God’s unconditional love.

Sandy also brought up how nature can help kids understand, with certainty, their place in the world.  She gave the example of how amazing trees are able to withstand great adversity in the environment such as great storms, draught, wind, etc, all while staying rooted, much they way we may face adversity and stay rooted in who we are.

The meeting ended with reflective time where members were encouraged to work on writing personal prayers or expanding on a known prayer that has already has meaning to us.  It was a meaningful and thoughtful morning.

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