Author Archives: Clare Loughrige

Returning Prayer

“You Return To Me, I’ll Return To You!” Zechariah 1:3

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal is one of our favorite pieces of art. It communicates the reality of God’s open-armed devotion to us. At every homecoming, this is our reality. Losing our way and returning is a part of the human condition. Whether we’ve been long gone or just coming home at the end of the day, the invitation is always to come back to God.

We love the story of a student beginning to pray and practice “returning” with contemplative prayer. The student told his teacher, “My mind is full of noise. I can’t quiet myself to hear a word that isn’t my own! During today’s prayer, my mind wandered to 10,000 different things before I remembered and returned to my intention to “be still and know God.” The teacher looked at him with love and said, “How wonderful! You returned to God 10,000 times today! Keep doing that.”

Would you like to practice contemplation with Returning Prayer? Here is a way to practice.

RETURNING PRAYER:

Before you begin: Find a comfortable place to sit where you will be undisturbed. Choose a name or image of God that means something to you right now. The following are examples from Scripture: Father receiving a prodigal child, Jesus laying hands and healing, Holy Spirit, Truth, Mother Hen gathering chicks, Friend, Healer, Rose of Sharon, Captain of Angel Armies, Lamb of God, Morning Star, Mother comforting her child, Savior, etc.

Once you choose a name or image, set the alarm for a minimum of 5 and up to 20 minutes and follow these 4 movements.

1. Sit comfortably with your back straight and feet on the ground. Open your hands on your lap or gently fold them. Be still, enter the gift of silence. Breathe easy and notice the gift of your breath. Open your heart, breathe in and remember that you are the beloved of God.

2. Now hold the name or image of God that has meaning for you. Allow this image to act as a handle during your prayer time.

3. When other thoughts come into your mind (and they will) don’t get attached to them. Let them pass like clouds in the sky and return ever so gently to your name or image for God.

4. End your prayer time with one of these options:

A prayer of thanks in your own words…

– Prayer of trust from Scripture

In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and in trust is my strength” (personalized from Isaiah 30:15 NRSV).

-The Prayer Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those, who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.

 

To learn more about the benefits of contemplative prayer and If you would like to practice with others, join us tonight at Crossroads from 5:50-6:20 in the Cafe’. You are also welcome to stay for the men’s or women’s meetings after the prayer meeting.

Returning to God with you,

Clare and Scott

Tuesday at Crossroads

5:50-6:20: Returning Prayer
6:30-8:00: Men and Women’s Meetings
Everyone welcome!

Lent and Prayer

When a season of prayer begins with the horrifying news of a mass shooting, children dead, parents grieving, students terrified….prayers must take on that reality.

When people believe the words “praying” are soft and inactive, they may not know how Jesus taught us to pray. The words “Your Kingdom Come” are words that convict us to the core. What Kingdoms have to go for God’s Kingdome to come?

The practice of fasting is not about not about abstaining from food or drink. Isaiah prophesies the kind of fasting and prayer Jesus practiced:

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to lose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and God will say: Here am I.” From Isaiah 58

So there it is. When we’re praying we are saying, Let your Kingdom come through me. Let Your Kingdom destroy the kingdoms of:

Violence

Narcissism

Hate

Sword-words

Anger

Pride

Deceit

Envy

Greed

Fear

Gluttony

Power

Sloth

Let US bring your Kingdom in our home, schools, communities, to Washington and the wider world. Then we will call, and the Lord will answer; we will cry for help, and God will say: Here am I.

Praying and fasting,
Clare and Scott

PS: Read the prayer Opening Prayer For the Colorado State House in the Aftermath of a Tragedy February 15, 2018

 

40 day Journey walking in the footsteps of Jesus

Lent is not a season of deprivation it is a season to satiate the soul. The season of Lent prepares us to welcome more than we can imagine. Each year we fast and invite others to join us in fasting… not chocolate or coffee but fasting the negative fixations that don’t satisfy. Would you like to join us in fasting: power and control, security and survival, approval and affection? Warning: your life will be different…including your social media=)

Try Thomas Keating’s Welcoming Practice (Prayer) for 40 days:

Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.

I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure

I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within.

Amen.

Anything worth doing is worth doing it badly!

So Sibyl told me “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly!”

So here’s my 5 min “really bad video” recorded by my awesome husband Scott, with his phone on a ladder!! The training is life changing. The video gives a hint of that =)

For those interested in my Harmony with the Enneagram work check out our page. Info and endorsements found here- http://ccmonline.org/©ienneagram-training-and-certification