Prayer and discipleship are synonymous. As Martin Luther once said, “A Christian [disciple] without prayer is like being alive without breathing.” Praying is breathing. Moreover, prayer is a link to the new person that God is continually calling us to be, even as we wrestle with the old selves we must come to terms if we are to be transformed. Still more, prayer is listening to God’s whispers and shouts. Prayer is not something that is easily defined, because a prayer begins when you call on God. And, prayer never truly ends, because if prayer is breath, then all of life is prayer and when life ceases, our last breath/prayer returns to the One who first prayed/breathed us into existence.
The hope of this course is for participants to grow in their understanding that heaven and earth are not so far apart and that through prayer the distance between the two be-comes smaller. We will begin by listening to how our ancestors in the faith prayed in the pages of the Bible and history of the church. We will examine prayer practices both ancient and contemporary. We will then ask questions about the relationship between prayer, breath, and inter-connectedness. We will ponder the statement, “Prayer is never done alone, even when you pray by yourself.”
|Week 1||Eavesdrop-ping at the Gates of Heaven||Prayer in the Bible
Practice: Prayer Improv Round-About
|Week 2||Prayer — Not a Habit but a Heartbeat||Prayer without ceasing: wrap the day in prayer.
Practice: Praying the Hours with cell phone notifications
|Week 3||Prayer as “Thin Place”||Where do heaven and earth meet?
Practice: Contemplating Contemplative Prayer
|Week 4||Prayer as Community Building||The “Our” in the “Our Father” and the decentered self.
Practice: Praying for the needs and people of our community