Centering prayer is a form of setting your mind on a word, a thought, color, scripture and then just “going there” with the Lord. Most folks who know me know that I have a great love for creation and all of her colors. All things flow from the center of His heart and I want to keep my mind there as much as possible. Doing this centering prayer really helps me get my thoughts in order for the day. I have started to add this in an art form as a daily part of my morning prayers. As I create, dribble, splatter and breath I am creating a piece of sacred prayer art. I watch the flow and movement of the medium and let the spirit of the Lord speak into me through the colors, shapes, feel, texture of each piece. No two are alike- ever. The cool thing abut this is that it takes my mind totally out of it. The only thing I am controlling are the colors as I listen and respond to His voice. It amazes me at how closely related the pictures become to my prayers. We become ONE in the creation of the piece.
Every morning I commune with the Lord and read certain scriptures, prayers and a Psalm. I have a little bag that has all the Psalms listed in it on slips of paper and each day I pick a slip of paper out of the bag and read the Psalm that is listed there. This way it is not me picking it, but the spirit of the Lord. Today’s Psalm was 65.
It blew me away. Here is the first verse…
GOD of ZION,
to you even SILENCE is PRAISE.
Promises made to you are KEPT-
you listen to PRAYER-
and ALL living things come to you.
…even SILENCE is praise…
There are times when I cannot utter a word out loud but my heart is screaming from the inside out…mercy, faith, trust, compassion, more mercy, Lord, pour it out. I am learning what contemplative prayer is and that I have really been doing this form of prayer for a very, very long time. I just didn’t realize it “had a name.” LOL
I received a gift in the mail this week from my friend who is an author. ( Breakfast with God- Maureen Tuohy) It is her first book and I have been so blessed by the words I am reading in it. I see how she and I are “on the same page” and that God is affirming many things through her writing to me- writing that she began a long time ago! I see her stories as part of what is written on my scroll for my life here and now. This morning I read about her experience with the Nuns as a child and how the nuns affected her prayer life. She also shared her great love for one Nun in particular.
In all my years I never imagined that I would develop an affection for nuns, but I have. It started out by reading about the life of Mother Teresa through a book of photography loaned to me by a friend many years ago. Since then I have read about St. Francis and St. Teresa of Avila and I adore their complete and total devotion to doing the work of the Lord.
Caves, kitchens, castles and slums. Wherever the Lord called them to- they went. This is the sold out kind of love that I crave.
Devotion to our Creator.
Not long ago, I asked myself, I wonder what it would be like to be a nun? I’ve never even met one. Well, it seems that the Lord as answered that prayer in a most mysterious way. I was given a gift of going on a retreat fro my birthday. I had originally asked to go to an art museum in Philly, but the Lord always knows best and He answered that with this retreat.
Next month I will be attending a retreat at St. Francis Center for renewal in Bethlehem, PA.. I have been invited to spend 3 days with a lovely group of nuns-none of whom I know-but all of whom I will come to know and undoubtedly fall in love with. There will be silence, but it will not be deafening. There will be prayer and a lot of it. There will be much pondering, contemplating and devotion to the Lord. All of these things will allow these ears and this heart to seek and know the Living God in a new and exciting way.
I am very excited!
We will be in the town of Bethlehem, PA. which began as a Moravian settlement. I am quite fond of the Moravians and Count Zinzendorf. In case you didn’t know- Zinzendorf met Jesus in painting and had a “mystical” experience and came to give his life over to the Lord. The painting is titled” Ecce Homo” or ‘ Behold the Man.”
Under the painting are these words:
“This have I suffered for you; now what will you do for me?”
I imagine I will be asking myself this same question over the weekend as I ponder what God is speaking to me.
I love the Moravians. They were sold out prayer warriors.
I met them when I went to Slovakia in 2009. I met them when I visited Moravian Falls a few months ago and I will meet them again in December. There seems to be a theme here and that is to live a sold out life of prayer in everything that I do…
He calls us to Him
in the silence
This morning He called me to Him through a Psalm…
He said, “ come in…walk this way…and follow Me…
a little deeper…a little closer…just you and Me…”
So I did. As I created, I walked through that covenant blood again and again and again. My tears rolled down my cheeks as I cried out to the Lord.
Some folks have shared that they can’t see what I see in these pieces and quite frankly-these are not about what I see-but about what He shows me as I do them. They are not to be understood, but to be experienced. Just as Zinzendorf had a mystical experience with a painting, so do I. It is mysterious and moody and the Lord rises up “oh so mighty” in my heart. While there are no words my heart shouts in colors with JOY and breaks out in the spirit in song singing Hallellujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of Zion, to you even silence is praise.
Promises made to you are kept—
2 you listen to prayer—
and all living things come to you.
3 When wrongdoings become too much for me,
you forgive our sins.
4 How happy is the one you choose to bring close,
the one who lives in your courtyards!
We are filled full by the goodness of your house,
by the holiness of your temple.
5 In righteousness you answer us,
by your awesome deeds,
God of our salvation—
you, who are the security
of all the far edges of the earth,
even the distant seas.
6 You establish the mountains by your strength;
you are dressed in raw power.
7 You calm the roaring seas;
calm the roaring waves,
calm the noise of the nations.
8 Those who dwell on the far edges
stand in awe of your acts.
You make the gateways
of morning and evening sing for joy.
9 You visit the earth and make it abundant,
enriching it greatly
by God’s stream, full of water.
You provide people with grain
because that is what you’ve decided.
10 Drenching the earth’s furrows,
leveling its ridges,
you soften it with rain showers;
you bless its growth.
11 You crown the year with your goodness;
your paths overflow with rich food.
12 Even the desert pastures drip with it,
and the hills are dressed in pure joy.
13 The meadowlands are covered with flocks,
the valleys decked out in grain—
they shout for joy;
they break out in song!