Ways to Pray:
Interested in Lenten (or at other times) fasting exercises you may not have thought of? Consider some alternative forms of FASTING. They might bring a smile to your face.
FASTING FROM IMMEDIACY
Experience a time of total news blackout
FASTING FROM BACKGROUND NOISE
Experience times of silence
FASTING FROM ISOLATION
Make an effort to reach out to people
TOTAL MEDIA BLACKOUT
No movies, TV, radio, video games, cell phones or internet
There are more types of fasting than just not eating. Give one or two a try. Check out the Upper Room website for links to Method X: The Way of Christ and Method X Fasting Activities, providing information for a variety of spiritual disciples.
A labyrinth is a walking tool for prayer and meditation for those seeking God, consisting of a winding path that begins at the outside and leads to a central place and then out again by the same path. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has no blind alleys or dead ends. It is not a puzzle to be solved. Instead, one simply walks in trust, receptive to what the Spirit may be inviting us to recognize, release or discover.
As a spiritual exercise, walking the labyrinth is a way to acknowledge that in our life with God, we are indeed on a journey. The action of walking stills our thoughts allowing space for the Holy amid the noise, worries, task lists and congestion of daily life.
Be open and notice what comes. Welcome God and walk as you are led. Submerge yourself in the experience and enjoy the center. Why hurry away? Let God know your heart and mind. All are welcome.
Medieval Christians walked the labyrinth as an alternative to taking a hazardous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk in the "footsteps of Christ." Modern "pilgrims" walk the labyrinth path as one of the many tools to enhance prayer, contemplation, meditation and/or personal growth. It has been described as a "a pattern with a purpose". Walking a labyrinth is a gift we give to ourselves because it offers us a chance to take time out from our busy lives, to leave schedules and stress behind. The labyrinth walk is popular with a growing number of people because of its simplicity and the ability to approach its paths on your own terms.
Suggestions for Walking the Labyrinth:
- Leave your cares at the entrance and walk in silence.
- Clear your mind and become aware of the breath.
- Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go.
- Some people begin their walk with a few moments to quiet themselves, bow, make the sign of the cross or hold out their hands with their palms up. Do what seems right for you.
- Feel free to walk, run, skip, dance or crawl the labyrinth.
- You may pass others or allow others to step around you, at the turns.
- At the center you can stand or sit quietly for a time. Then follow the same path out from the center.
- Time in the labyrinth can be a silent meditation, asking a question or seeking guidance.
- Remember, the experience of walking the labyrinth varies widely from person to person. God meets us where we are to bless and guide.
- This is a sacred space. We pray that you will find and experience what you are seeking --- what you need.
The Racine United Methodist Church has a labyrinth that was initially created by Deb & Jeff Goeldi for use on Good Friday as a way for all to experience meditating on the last days in the life of Jesus Christ. It is available year round by calling 507-202-2719 and all are welcome.
Try Drawing a Finger Labyrinth:
At our MN Conference UMW Day Apart, speaker Erin Marcks gave instructions for drawing a finger labyrinth. Once the labyrinth is drawn, a finger can wind its way through the passage as the mind meditates on words of positivity and hope. Your labyrinth is your unique creation!! All you need is a blank piece of paper and a writing tool.
To draw a finger labyrinth:
- Draw a small plus sign on your paper, about a third of the way down the page. (You'll need space above it.)
- Draw a dot in each 'corner' as if you were going to draw a square around the plus sign.
- Draw an upside down 'u' shape, connecting the top of the plus with the dot to the right of it.
- Connect the top dot on the left with the end of the right side of the plus sign, moving clockwise.
- Keep drawng lines from the next open spot to the left to the next open spot to the right.
Now there is a labyrinth with one way in, and one way out. Write words of affirmation --- love, courage, strength, justice, joy, love, unity, harmony, etc. --- in a circle around your labyrinth. Meditate on the words as you move your finger through the passage.
If you need help, go to Erin's YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSZnBfFC_Gw&list=PLUAQ47SpWaDm_YCHudKsnxsbkym57pPQ
Source: The Link, River Valley UM Women
Ministry of Prayer
Your prayers move God to change the world. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don't need to. But this much is clear: Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought! - Max Lucado
With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of the Sumner Center Church:
Through prayer, we reach out to one another in Christian love. We live in prayer and remember people in need.
If you would like us to pray for you or someone else:
- you may contact Pastor Bridget Sheely at 507-438-1352.
- We have a prayer chain available
- post your prayer on our private church facebook page
- or your prayer may remain confidential if you wish.