The way we did it (which is how we used to do our regular Monday "Prayer Thing" when we had it)... At 7 I read a little thing about prayer (I would often read a Bible passage). Then we just prayed. People can spread out or stay where they are; you can sit, stand, lay down or walk around; whatever. We just pray silently, and I usually have some soft instrumental music playing. Then, when time is up, we open it up if anyone wants to share anything God may have put on their heart. Then we gather in a circle at the front, and anyone who wants to pray out loud can... then I close us in prayer. Last night we prayed silently from 7:05 to 7:35. Then we talked about it for another 10 minutes. Then prayed in a circle. Then some of us stood around and talked for probably another half hour afterward. It was nice.
I have to admit... my mind wanders during these times of prayer though. But I don't know that that is bad. Sometimes it's a matter of just saying, "God, here I am. What would you like to put into MY heart? What would you like me to hear? Speak to my spirit." Sometimes I will let the music guide me too. For instance, last night when "Be Thou My Vision" came on, I prayed that God would give people vision for what to do in Haiti. When "Simple Gifts" came on, I prayed that people might find joy and/or relief in simple things. Then it was interesting that the last song to play while we were praying was "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love." Hmm... that kind of made me think that maybe what many of us need as much as the people of Haiti is for God to transform OUR hearts - that we might be more loving, caring, and compassionate. I think a lot of people think what's happening in Haiti has nothing to do with us... And that's sad that we feel such a disconnection with the poor of the world. Because it could be that this is where Christ is waiting to show himself to US. I don't know.
Anyway, I wish I had seen this prayer via Ben via JR... it would have been nice last night...
A Prayer for Haiti, adapted from the Book of Common Prayer:
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,Peace out; and in.
As the eyes of the world turn to Haiti, let us join our hearts in prayer:
God of compassion
Please watch over the people of Haiti,
And weave out of these terrible happenings
wonders of goodness and grace.
Surround those who have been affected by tragedy
With a sense of your present love,
And hold them in faith.
Though they are lost in grief,
May they find you and be comforted;
Guide us as a church
To find ways of providing assistance
that heals wounds and provides hope
Help us to remember that when one of your children suffer
We all suffer
Through Jesus Christ who was dead, but lives
and rules this world with you. Amen.
-- Bruce Reyes-Chow, Gradye Parsons and Linda Valentine