“Empty Me” Embodied Prayer

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Many have asked for the motions to “Empty Me” — a circle dance / embodied prayer I lead at retreats and workshops. It is prayed / danced to the song “Empty Me” by Jeremy Camp, a BEaUtiful song about surrendering our selves in order to be filled with his life-giving Spirit. Participants stand (or sit) in a circle facing one another. The motions are simple and repetitive. Participants always remark how powerful this simple movement prayer to music is.

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Returning to Center: an Embodied Prayer

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embpryretThis is an embodied prayer I created for the Art of Spiritual Direction retreats at which I teach. It is based on the Lakota Native American Four Directions Prayer.

Participants stand in a circle, facing center, where a large cross is placed. You can also Create a Sacred Space like the one pictured at right and use that as your central focal point.

Below is a picture from a YogaFaith training where a beautiful pool of water was our focal point. Serendipitously, we ended up with our hands on both of our neighbors shoulders (at the part of the prayer where we prayer for the person on our left and right). It became a powerful symbolic action of unity and solidarity of purpose.

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Returning to Center: Embodied Scripture Prayer

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Poetry as Prayer

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Poetry, both writing and reading, is a wonderfully creative avenue of prayer.

On a beautiful day this past summer, I lay in the hammock behind our lake cabin. As I lay there, held between these two magnificent white pines, I felt held by both the strong, masculine arms of God AND the gentle, feminine arms of God. My poem of prayer featured on ALTARWORK expresses the prayer that developed as I let myself be held by Father-Mother God.

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“Hammock View” ||  Read my Poem of Prayer at: http://www.altarwork.com/hammock-view

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #219 — ADVENTure Prayer Walk

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I originally posted this in 2015 as a creative resource for Advent. I wanted to post it here as well as a Creative Spiritual Practice. ADVENTure is a creative and interactive prayer walk to contemplate the reason for the season. Designed to accompany the four weeks of the Advent season, each weekly devotional includes a focus on a “character” of the CHRISTmas story, as well as instructions for a creative or sensory experiential to accompany the meditation. This can be done within a church, ministry, small group, or family context. Kid-friendly and engaging.
This post includes links to all five devotionals and instructions to assist you. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.
Merry CHRISTmas, Jody

God's Creative Gift -- Unleashing the Artist in You

Advent BabyJesus strawADVENTure is a self-directed prayer walk we did several times at church on our college campus. It includes scriptures and short meditations combined with an activity at each prayer station designed to help ponder the true meaning of Christmas.

The church is set up with four candles around the outside of the room to represent a traditional Advent wreath. Another candle is positioned in the middle of the room to represent the Christ candle. These candles become the prayer stations where there are scripture meditations and supplies for an activity associated with each scripture passage.

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Creative Spiritual Practice: Creating a Sacred Space/Preparing an Altar of Remembrance

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Hebrew: Mizbeach מִזְבֵּ֫חַ

An altar or place of sacrifice

In the Old Testament, agreements were sometimes ratified through the building of altars.

Throughout scripture we find the people of God creating sacred spaces, from piles of rocks to a Tabernacle and a Temple. And they all have one thing in common—they are places where people encounter God. The altars were built to serve as a remembrance of their encounter with God and his faithfulness in their lives. Altars were built by Noah (Gen 8:20); Abraham at Shechem, Hebron, Moriah and Bethel (which means: house of God) (Gen 12:7-8, 13:18, 22:9); Isaac (Gen 26:25); Jacob at Shechem and Bethel (Gen 33:20, 35:7); Moses (Ex 17:15, 24:4); Joshua (Josh 8:30, 24:25-27); Samuel (I Sam 7:12) and many others. As you study these scriptures, note the encounter with God that each person had.

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Two noteworthy stories:

1) When the Israelites crossed the River Jordan, each tribe was instructed to take one stone from the river bed and they used those stones to create an altar to the Lord. Joshua also created an altar in the river bed itself:

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” Continue reading