Thursday, March 3, 2011

Say a Little Prayer

Sometimes it's all too much. Too many tasks. Too much caring. Too many options or too few. We need to pump up the faith that we'll find the right path. Say a prayer.

Quick, heartfelt. Arrow prayers, one friend calls them. Straight shot to the Divine, to the Spirit, to God. My mother's favorite? "Lord, give me strength!" Prayed aloud with all her frustration and need behind it, this was (and is) a pretty powerful prayer.

Prayer on a long breath. One of my favorites? From the Psalms--"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." And another--"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be re-created, and you shall renew the face of the earth." Takes a little longer. Makes you focus on what you're saying. Takes you away from the current challenge. Try the Lord's Prayer or the Prayer of St. Francis. Any prayer that you've memorized and on which you can really focus.

Prayer on the Beads. I grew up in the Catholic tradition and found that repetitive prayer on the Rosary was just the thing to slow down the monkey mind and give me a sense of connection with the Holy Spirit. As I've moved in my spiritual journey to other expressions of Christianity, I've explored other prayer bead traditions--Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Bahá'í Faith--and finally settled on the Anglican beads. The Anglican Rosary holds deep symbolism in its very structure, but has no one set of prayers associated with it.
The basic approach is to pray an opening prayer of faith on the cross and another prayer to settle into the Spirit on the Invitatory. Choose one prayer to repeat at each Cruciform bead and one prayer (or seven phrases) to say at each Week bead. To complete the prayers takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Enough time for a pause. Enough time to quiet monkey mind. Enough time to get a grip and return to caring. Renewed.

Say a little prayer...because you're worth it.

Blessings on your caregving today!

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