EMBODIED: Christian Meditative Prayer Beads

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Mala prayer beads are very popular these days, not only among those who do yoga, but as a fashion trend. After I purchased my first mala, I began to research prayer beads and ropes from other religious traditions and eventually tore my mala apart to reconstruct it with Christian symbolism instead. Prayer beads or ropes are used across many spiritual traditions to help one pray. Traditional malas are used by Hindus and contain 108 beads. Rosaries are used within the Catholic tradition and contain 50 beads. Chotki are used within the Orthodox Christian tradition and contain 33, 50, 100, 150 or more prayer beads (or often knots instead of beads).

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Selah prayer beads are my own original, Christ-centered design for contemplative prayer beads. The word Selah is taken from the Book of Psalms. Hebrew scholars believe it is a musical term indicating a place of pause, reflection or a place to take a breath. Selah prayer necklaces are constructed with 100 beads, 10 of which are called Selah beads. These beads are meant to serve as stopping points, places for you to pause and reflect as you pray your way around the circular design of the necklace.

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EMBODIED: Praying with Play-Dough

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Hello Fellow Worshipers! Found this recipe for play-dough with essential oils at One Essential Community and thought I would share it with you. You can find full instructions with photos and essential oil blend ideas.

Playdough is a wonderful way to use the embodied sense of touch during prayer and meditation time. Add essential oils and we include the sense of smell. You can add the following scriptures to embody your prayer, meditation and Bible study time: Continue reading

Practicing the Presence of God through Creative Prayer Stations

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“Practicing the Presence” was created for a Healing Care Ministries seminar called The Essentials. The essence of this seminar to help those in caregiving ministries understand how to position people for lasting, healing change, particularly through engaging the right hemisphere of the brain through creative spiritual practices. “Practicing the Presence” was done each morning in lieu of traditional worship. Each day is spent focusing on one member of the Trinity with the following themes: Creator God, Christ our Royal Redeemer, and Holy Spirit, Flame of Love.

Included here are resources, coloring pages, accompanying scriptures and photographs so you can recreate this for your own church or ministry. Hand-outs are provided and can be used with permission by leaving the website and copyright information intact at the bottom of each page. Coloring pages were created by Pauline Mae Blankenship (©2018) for “Practicing the Presence,” and if you have The Creator’s Healing Power—Restoring the Broken to Beautifulyou will recognize these coloring pages from the book. She has graciously offered them for our use, and you will find links within each section below.

Each day we started in silence, which was broken with Lectio Divina. Then participants were released to explore creative prayer stations. Every day, one station included a cross with artwork to create a space where folks could kneel and pray, and another included the coloring pages at two large tables with coloring supplies:

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7 :: “Into your hands…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 7

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

M Durbin 2010 Into Your Hands

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Enough

Here I am, my son.

Your struggle is over.

It was near impossible

to keep from turning

toward your cries.

I felt each lash,

wailed as they

drove the nails.

I blacked out the sun

so as not to see

your suffering.

Come to me now,

let me bandage

your wounds. Drink

from the spring

and rinse clean, rinse

until the water

runs clear. This part

of the journey

is finished. Continue reading

7 :: “It is finished!”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Day 6

“It is finished!”  John 19:30

M Durbin 2010 Jesus

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

The Antique Rocking Chair

The carpenter is not disappointed

by the ruined finish or the broken arm,

loose spindles, failed glue joints.

He checks the chair for its rhythm,

rests carefully in its solid seat and tests

the sway, hums an ancient hymn,

feels the wind that wore away the finish,

drove the rain between the grains

and diminished the lacquered polish. Continue reading

7 :: “I am thirsty”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 5

Cup of Blessing

Cup of Blessing by Matt Durbin (C) 2011 http://www.mattdurbinart.com

“Later, knowing that
all was now completed,

and so that the
Scripture would be fulfilled,

Jesus said,
‘I am thirsty.’”

– John 19:28

Drink 

The fount of living water

bellows drought. I want

to lift a ladle, cold and pure,

so you could be relieved.

But I’m deceived with ease.

My cup is sour, dilute

the wine from dirty

cisterns. Nothing I

can offer satisfies.

Are you glad you chose

to filter septic water,

offer your body to be

my purifier? How I love you. Continue reading

Mirroring: You Know Me

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Attendees of Healing Care Ministries Essentials Seminar and HCM International Spiritual Direction Cohort often ask me for an outline of motions for a mirroring demonstration I do to the song “You Know Me” by Stephanie Gretzinger. I’ve been asked to videotape it but I hesitate because it is often a profound experience of the participant being felt and known by God. I feel videotaping is an intrusion of that experience.

Mirroring is done to face-to-face and is most powerful with high levels of attunement and empathy from the “minister” to the one being ministered to under the power of the Holy Spirit working through you. It is often used in Dance/Movement Therapy but I have found it to be a powerful tool in spiritual direction and in teaching embodied prayer.

Crotched Mt Continue reading