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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

# 50 - Trouble Tree Prayer

The “trouble tree” provides a visual focus for a family’s intercessory prayer during Lent. It’s simple; just a bare tree branch in a container filled with plaster or sand kept near the kitchen table. Near it keep a supply of long, thin strips of paper on which to write the names of people who are looking for work, fighting sickness, facing tests, our undergoing other challenges. Anyone can add petitions for all to pray. And daily prayer beside the tree can draw the family together. Begin with the Sign of the Cross (see “Ways to Pray #44”), mention a few petitions, and end with this short prayer, Jesus, we know you came to love us, to forgive us and to make us new. We give you all of our troubles, large and small. Help us as we walk with you now on your way to the cross. Amen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

# 49 - Fasting

Fast for one meal a day for a week, or from eating for a whole day, or from an activity.
The battle of prayer is against two things: wandering thoughts and lack of intimacy with God. Fasting confirms our dependence upon God as we find in Him a source of sustenance beyond food. As bodily food fattens the body, so fasting strengthens the soul
Is it because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world that our souls are stuffed with small things? There’s nothing magical about fasting. It’s just one way of telling God that your priority at that moment is to be alone with him. When exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

# 48 - The Money Prayer

This is a 7-day exercise, and extremely challenging. On Monday, set aside 7 dollar bills, one for use each day of the week. (Any coin or currency may be substituted.) Each day for 7 consecutive days identify a need, one you have not previously addressed, and personally give your dollar, or its equivalent. Then, having given, lift the need once again to God in prayer. This exercise will require much prayer, both in finding a daily need every day and in meeting it. For example, take a dollar to the local food pantry, or use your dollar to buy yarn for a shut-in who knits.

Monday, February 2, 2009

# 47 - Touch Prayer

Everyone you know, no matter how “together” their life seems to be, needs God’s touch. The Touch Prayer is when in prayer you gently rest your hands on another’s hand, back, or shoulder, and prayerfully let the Spirit of God flow through you to them. Breathe deeply and slowly. The other person doesn’t have to know at all what you are doing. Just touch, be still and pray, and imagine God ministering to their deepest need. The Touch Prayer is a prayer you can feel. You can feel the warmth, the spiritual energy, even the wholeness (or shalom) of God as you share the powerful presence of God in those silent extended moments of grace. They can feel it too, but may never tell you so. The Touch Prayer is a selfless prayer, a prayer you can only give away. Bless someone you love with it and watch your relationship grow—you and them and God.