My mother was a multi-talented woman, and one of her many talents was serving as a prayer “warrior,” spiritual counselor and guide for others in the Christian life through trauma and pain. She taught me a prayer technique for challenging times which came to mind this past week, and I offer it here and now to honor her and be a gateway from her wisdom to this moment. Cell phones, televisions and other media must stay behind for this exercise.
Sitting quietly in your prayer corner/chair/space, breathe for a moment to re-set your body and as I often advise (now you know where it comes from!), sit up straight with feet firmly planted on the floor. Breathe. In your inner self, prayerfully, reach out to those you love who cannot be physically with you right now. See them in your mind’s eye, allowing the Holy Spirit to take you to them in whatever moment the Spirit chooses. Focus upon them intensively (I did not promise this prayer technique to be easy or convenient…you may well be fatigued after this exercise!) to take in every detail….how they look, how they sound, what you smell, where they are, what they are doing. They can be any age or stage in their life, and I must here warn you that every once in awhile Mom would see a previous or even future version of the person she was focusing upon….such is the integration of the Kingdom of the Heavens we enter when we pray! Hands out gently to bless that person with the presence of God’s healing love, never forcefully and never aggressively. Perhaps a short prayer aloud or silently lifting that precious soul to God’s highest and best purpose today, perhaps only silence, and perhaps sometimes that person turns and speaks to you directly as if you are standing right there physically! (Did I mention earlier this is not for everyone?!) When finished, you move on in that same prayer posture to the second person who populates your list of concern (spouse, child, grandchild, friend, sibling, etc.) and on until you have had enough or run out of people. For some just one is overwhelming, for others they must move from one to another until finished. As you wish. Mom called this technique “riding the fences” as a rancher sometimes rides the outer boundary of his or her ranch to oversee the precious investment inside the fence. This is how I pray for our church and for all of you as often as I have strength to accomplish it. Why would any Christian allow physical isolation or social distancing dare to confine our reality as citizens of the Kingdom of the Heavens?! Apprenticing with Jesus always teaches better, always!! Enjoy the ride!
Photo credit: Fulcrum Gallery – Robert Dawson’s “Riding Fences”