Still Small Voice 9: Living prayerfully
Welcome to the 'Still Small Voice' blog series, a round up of blogs sharing approaches to prayer, suggesting ideas and thinking about how prayer and contemplation relates to action.
Following SCM's annual conference I joined the lovely folk at Bangor MethSoc for a session on the theme of Still Small Voice.
We explored different understandings and approaches to prayer, and used the following activity to reflect on being 'still small voices' in the world.
I thought I'd post it here in case other groups want to use it!
What you need
Big piece of paper
Post-it notes (several for each person)
Draw a small circle in the centre of the page, and larger circles around it (like a dartboard!) and label the areas from the middle outwards "Personal" "Relationships with others" "Local Community" "The wider world".
Points for reflection
What would it mean to live more prayerfully in the world?
What impact might it have if we were to practice a subversive stillness in the midst of our busy and complex lives?
What does it mean to be a 'still small voice' and speak out against injustice?
Invite people to write different ideas on their post-it notes - and attach them to the paper. Take some time to look at the different suggestions and share any further thoughts.
Finish with a time of prayer to commit individually and as a group to living more prayerfully.
Some of the ideas that we came up with in Bangor:
Taking time to pray
Feeling closer to God and more at peace
Find room for Sabbath-living, a still point in every week
Be less angry / cynical
Relationships with others
Greater generosity in relationships
Uplifting and supporting others
Befriending difficult people
More willing to ask / challenge others
Be attentive and fully present to each person I meet
To pray with others more often
Become more aware of unspoken needs around me
Prophetic voice / preaching
Guerilla gardening, transforming wasteland, helping people find God in the beauty of nature
Offer gifts to local community e.g. writing, digging
More involvement in community groups
Take action! Grasp opportunities
Get involved in local community and help others to find God
Support non-violent approaches to conflict resolution
Write letters, prayers
Support causes without expecting anything back
More active in challenging injustice
Sponsor someone in poverty
Focus more on the bigger picture over small personal 'niggles'
Pray for persecuted people
Do post comments below if you use this reflection tool yourself or with a group!
You can find the other blogs in the Still Small Voice series here:
- Still Small Voice 1: Introduction
- Still Small Voice 2: Going Deeper
- Still Small Voice 3: Imaginative Contemplation
- Still Small Voice 4: Laughter Meditation
- Still Small Voice 5: I don't know how to Pray
- Still Small Voice 6: How to Prepare a Liturgy
- Still Small Voice 7: Where is my Church?
- Still Small Voice 8: Drumming as Prayer
- Still Small Voice 10: Creating a Prayer Space
- Still Small Voice 11: Daily Prayer Resources for Revolutionaries and Peacemakers