Spiritual Spa 101: Healing Power of Prayer This program features ten healing prayer approaches, grounded in scripture and the Christian tradition that will help you tap into the presence of the Divine within you and to access your spiritual energy for healing and transformation.
The beautiful poem, “Footsteps in the Sand,” by Mary Fishback Powers is a powerful example of Fantasy Prayer. In a conversation with God, a person looks back over life and asks why, at the saddest times, there were only one set of footsteps in the sand. God replies:
"My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."
Fantasy Prayer utilizes our memory and imagination to enhance experiences of prayer. Instead of being a source of distraction filling us with apprehension over the future or the past, imagination can assist us to focus on the possibilities that can occur within the situation. We can use the gifts of memory and imagination to create an atmosphere of expectation and faith in the creative Spirit. With this prayer form we can see the tender love of the Holy One in all the events of our lives past, present, and future.
The images we have of ourselves prepare us for success or for failure; we live our lives based on our self-images. Very often these perceptions come from parents, teachers, or people who have influenced our early years. Some familiar negative thought patterns that can block us from loving ourselves, others, and God are: 'Tm not intelligent enough"; "I'm not attractive enough"; "If you really knew me you wouldn't love me"; "It's too risky ...I might fail"; "What will the neighbors say?" When we listen to these negative thoughts we risk accepting them as facts, which in turn impedes our growth and wholeness.
Fantasy Prayer is an effective way of using our imaginations to help us break free of these toxic thoughts, and to visualize the power of God's healing love replacing them with positive, creative thoughts. When Jesus said, "I am with you always." (Matthew 28:20), he promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us as we cleanse our minds of these negative thoughts and open ourselves to our full human grace-filled potential. Aware of the indwelling presence of the Holy One within we can use Fantasy Prayer to help us reflect on some new life giving affirmations about ourselves: "I can break free of old, toxic thoughts and negative feelings''; "I am loved totally and dwell in the divine presence always."; "l forgive myself and others"; "l prefer to feel peace and love instead of anger and resentment; "I am a lovable and loving person.
Both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures contain an abundance of wisdom on healing and wholeness that will help us lead a healthy, happy life.
The Holy One continues to speak today in the sacred text of our lives.
Each of us is called to be a living Word of God in our contemporary world- proclaiming divine love, peace, justice, healing and wholeness.
We often read Scripture from an outsider's perspective, remaining at a distance from its teachings and stories, yet trying to comprehend its meaning for our lives. The Gospel of John invites us to make God's Word our dwelling place: "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples." (8:31). This implies that we are to become participants and open ourselves to Holy Wisdom speaking to us today through the sacred texts of scripture and of our lives.
Entering into Scripture takes imagination. Through imaginative prayer we walk inside the biblical passage to become one with those who are involved in the scene. Praying Scripture with the imagination means entering into the details and emotions of the passage and listening as the Holy One speak from within the text. This form of prayer can help us experience fresh insight into living vibrant lives today. As we pray Scripture using the gift of our imagination, we can see ourselves in the various characters in the story.
Deep within each of us there is a hunger for a close, personal relationship with the Holy One. Through Scripture we can begin to recognize the Creator's loving presence everywhere. A real transformation can occur as our personal oneness with the divine develops. We find a fresh spiritual way of thinking, and adopt the mind and heart of Christ.
Centering Prayer focuses on being in the presence of God.
Being together, not accomplishing anything, is the goal. This form of quiet prayer takes us beyond thoughts, words, and images into the embrace of Divinity. "As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of [the First Born] into our hearts, crying out, 'Abba, [God]!'" (Galatians 4:6). Christ's Spirit becomes more intimately present to us than we are to ourselves. "I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20).
Centering Prayer offers a glimpse into the fullness of divine love that is beyond our hopes and dreams. God dwells within us in infinite love every minute, every day, of our entire lives! Wow!
Centering Prayer can free you from tension and stress, open you to the indwelling divine presence within you and within all creation, and lead you toward deep healing and wholeness. Centering Prayer invites you to rejoice in your intimacy with the Holy One.. Jesus stressed the importance of this in the gospel when he said, "Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the [Reign] of God/Companionship of Empowerment belongs to such as these" (Luke 18:16).
Centering Prayer is a modem term that describes an ancient form of prayer referred to in a medieval mystical classic, The Cloud of Unknowing. The unknown author describes the path to contemplation in these words:
"Lift up your heart to God, with a gentle stirring of love desiring the Holy One for God’s own sake and not for divine gifts. Center all your attention and desire on the Divine Presence within you, and let this be the sole concern of your mind and heart.
This episode is from The Healing Power of Prayer New and Expanded Edition by Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan.
Journal Prayer helped a young woman who was extremely angry and upset at being rejected by her boyfriend. She was physically attractive, intelligent, and had a promising career. Since she was approaching her late thirties, she worried that she would never be married. For several years she had put all her energies into developing close relationships with male friends, hoping to find the right person with whom she could enjoy total happiness and fulfillment. Instead, she experienced several heartbreaking entanglements that caused her bitter disappointment.
After trying several different healing prayer forms, Journal Prayer helped this woman discover her own self-worth and find ways in which she could live a more fulfilling life. Journal Prayer helped her discover Christ's presence in her lonely moments and made it clear to her that no one else could totally fulfill her. Her journal became a tool in which she was able to encounter her fear of rejection and look at some of the dark corners in her own heart. This led her to invite the Holy One into these painful areas to free and heal her. As a result of her journal, the woman grew less possessive and fearful of rejection. She also came to a greater appreciation of the power of intimacy and the value of close relationships in her life.
As Christians we gain insights from our own intuitive powers, as well as from the presence of Christ living within us and constantly speaking to us from the depths of our being. In this prayer style we can invite the Spirit of God to use our intuition and creative powers to reveal areas of our lives that need healing. Some examples of areas that might need deeper healing through Journal Prayer are: distorted images of our masculinity or femininity, painful sexual encounters or relationships, compulsive behavioral patterns, problems with intimacy, or inability to express feelings.
This episode is taken from The Healing Power of Prayer New Expanded Edition by Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan
On the Cross, Jesus demonstrates the nature of unconditional forgiveness when he promises heaven to the good thief. He does not demand an apology or set up a schedule for retribution. He simply says: "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43). Likewise, Jesus realizes that when we hurt others we are often unaware of the damage we inflict. He offered total forgiveness to his executioners: "Abba, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34).
When the rich young man decides to turn down his invitation to discipleship, Jesus does not give him a lecture on his lack of generosity or complain about the rejection he felt. Instead, Jesus looks at the man and loves him (Mark 10:17-22). Jesus does not limit his love or forgiveness to those who do things his way. He loves people unconditionally, always accepting them as they are.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father does not become bitter with his son for leaving home, squandering his money, or embracing an irresponsible lifestyle. Rather, he patiently longs for his son's homecoming. When the son finally returns home, the loving father does not even wait for an apology or permit a confession. Embracing his son warmly, the forgiving father celebrates the beginning of a new and closer relationship with his son than he ever dreamed possible (Luke 15:11-32).
An inability to forgive others for the hurts they have caused us leads to many psychological and physical diseases. These problems find their source, totally or in part, in bitterness, resentment, hostility, and unresolved conflict with others. These situations disturb our lives and often result in insomnia, headaches, stomach cramps, and neurotic and psychotic disorders. Forgiveness often is a key factor in freeing our body and mind to release the hostility that blocks spiritual growth. In Forgiveness Prayer, we ask Jesus to accompany us on a journey to reconciliation, inner freedom and healing.
Healing -of -Memories Prayer can change the structure of our remembered experience so that we can be freed and healed of past hurts. In this form of prayer, we open ourselves to the presence of the Holy One in the memory of a painful event or relationship. We invite our Compassionate God to transform that which was wounded into a more peaceful memory. This episode is taken from The Healing Power of Prayer, new and expanded edition by Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan.
Spiritual Spa 101: Healing Power of Prayer
Welcome to The Healing Power of Prayer, New Expanded Edition by Rev. Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan. This podcast is the introduction to ten healing prayer approaches grounded in scripture and the Christian tradition. Each approach is designed to help you tap into the presence of the Divine within you and to access your spiritual energy for healing and transformation. The ten different healing prayer experiences are Healing of Memories Prayer, Scripture Prayer, Forgiveness Prayer, Relaxation Prayer, Journaling Prayer, Healing Affirmations for Daily Living, Centering Prayer, Prayer in Times of Suffering, Fantasy Prayer, Prayers for Healing Families, Races, Nations, Religions and Earth. For more information about this spiritual spa, visit our website at https://pcseminary.org, Contact Dr. Meehan at email@example.com.