Thanks to Karl, I’ve started a prayer journal. On a recent Sunday he mentioned having done this for a couple of years, once a week, and sent me samples from his book. Since I keep a journal and I regularly meditate or pray, why not combine the practices? The idea is to spend some time (perhaps an hour) once a week to write to whatever/whoever seems appropriate: Spirit of Life; Mystery of the Universe; Holy One; My Higher Self . . . and just put your inner needs or desires into words. I started with a different journal from my usual one. It had been given to participants of a yoga retreat in April, and seemed just right for my new purpose.
Here’s a sample prayer, fresh off the keyboard:
Mystery Beyond My Understanding,
Be with my friends and parishioners who are hospitalized, in rehab, under Hospice care, and recently deceased. Each of them has been a teacher to me and continues to teach me without a single lesson plan.
They show me that we are frail vessels who might suddenly become ill or injured or in need of surgery. I particularly pray for my neighbor Ken, whose surgery is very soon. He is afraid and anxious, not just of the surgery but of the aggressive cancer. Another neighbor, a nurse, has been a steadfast companion.
They show me what it means to live and die with dignity, how dying brings out both the best and the worst of patients, family members, and friends. That we will die is not a mystery, but we prefer to ignore that fact.
Mystery of Life, Mystery of Death, open my eyes and let compassion guide me into good ministry and loving friendship.
Shanti, Peace, Aloha
Here’s a link to How to Keep a Prayer Journal. It suggests keeping a Bible at hand, but any scripture or book of poetry might be your preference. Let me know if you decide to try this–and check with me to make sure I keep it up!
Keeping a Prayer Journal