This past year I have been participating in an online spiritual deepening program for Unitarian Universalist religious professionals called Wellspring (see https://uuwellspring.org/) .
Every two weeks I receive a new assignment of readings to reflect on- first on my own, then with a small group that meets through Zoom online conferencing. The group provides support to me as a religious professional and helps me to align my spiritual life with my vocation. This week I learned that our next topic would be Prayer- a theme that we are also exploring together in February at UUCRT: Prayer and/or Spiritual Practice.
Given our overlapping explorations, I would like to share with you one of the resources that I received and invite you to reflect on the practice of prayer along with me. The pamphlet UU Views of Prayer is a rich resource of quotes from UU ministers who have shared the meaning of this spiritual discipline in their lives (It can be found here: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-do/spirituality/prayer). Here is a snippet of their reflections:
- Prayer is an intimate conversation with myself in all my vulnerability—facing fears that may be beneath the surface or staring me in the face. –Michael Salwassar
- Prayer is a way to connect and reconnect to ourselves and to that which is life- — Rev. Erika Hewitt
- Prayer is not about leading the universe toward some desired outcome; it is about our willingness to be led to greater consciousness, compassion, and connection. — Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom
- Prayer is the deepest longings of my soul manifested into words and actions. — Rev. Marta Valentín
- Prayer is an opportunity for mindful noticing of my fears, my dreams, my sense of gratitude. –Rev. Manish Mishra-Manzetti
This month I invite you to join me in reflecting on – and maybe even practicing – prayer, whatever the practice of opening your heart and offering up words – or no words – to something larger than yourself – or “to whom it may concern”- may mean to you. How has your experience of prayer changed over the years? If you pray, How do you pray? Why do you pray? What role does prayer play in your life? If you don’t pray, why not? You may wish to experiment with prayer if that sounds appealing to you. Notice how it feels to pray and reflect on that experience. We will be sharing reflections together on February 17th – during our service and in our Looking Deeply Circle from 12-1 PM.