Prayerful Wandering/Wondering

paying attention reflection of chapelPrayerful Wandering/Wondering

Each week on my walking to and from meetings on campus I try to implement (what I call) an intentional practice of “prayerful wandering/wondering”–on the way back to my office from one place on campus or another, I intentionally look up and pay attention and walk in the direction I feel God’s Spirit leading me. Often, I find myself surprised to see people I haven’t seen in a while, notice people’s emotions and have a sense of their feelings (even if I do not speak with them I might say a quiet prayer for them), and find a way to build in a more Spirit-led practice of awareness into my life. JRR Tolkien reminds us that “not all who wander are lost” and this Holy Wandering and Holy Wondering can be life-giving, empathy-increasing actions that allow us to see the gifts and potentials of our people and communities.

This practice helps me in my work as a campus minister (and in my doctor of ministry research/project) as it helps me to better understand people and their experiences in life as well as giving me a deeper appreciation of the community and spaces around me. Also, I frequently end up wandering a whole lot further than if I would have just walked straight back to my office!
I hope to continue this practice implementing and other practices which help us to see, understand, and respond with God’s loving action.
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Prayers of the People 2014.08.03

2014.08.03 Prayers of the People
written for The Gathering at Glenn UMC

“In order to see we must first admit we have been blind…”
-Rev Josh Amerson

God who leads us, loves us, and heals us,
we have come here today seeking you–
Open our eyes through music, fellowship, song, and scripture;
we pray that the Holy Spirit continues to teach us,
that we might know your healing touch,
See you at work in the world,
And be surprised and changed by encountering YOU.

We all come today with concerns:
with questions, with prayers, with longings;
we pray that your Holy Spirit would stir up in us
the courage to listen, to hear,
to challenge, and to be changed.
We pray today for people–
–people both near and far from us–
who need to experience your love and care:
for those who are fighting cancer,
sickness, and mental illness,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and be your healing hands.

for people who are in the midst of
injustice, war, and violence,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and be instruments of peace .

for survivors of every kind of abuse,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and be compassionate, listening souls and shoulders.

for people who are caught up in systems
of oppression and economic injustice,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and be agents of justice and change.

for people who are blinded and consumed
by consumption and materialism,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and live out of your abundant economy.

for people who lead our
nations and local communities,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
and be compassionately engaged, civil, civil servants.

and for those who appear to be near to you
and those who appear to be far off,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
And help us recognize and behold you among us.

May we, all your people, know your healing touch–
and, by the power of your Holy Spirit,
may you open our eyes that we might see,
And GO to be the servants of your kingdom
with, and to, the hurting, broken, and surprising world. Amen.