Spiritual Practices & Resources
We invite you to take a gentle stroll around our church campus with the intention of spending time with God.
Ladue Chapel Prayer Walk.
If you are familiar with Ladue Chapel, look with new eyes and listen deeply,
using all of your senses during this journey through God’s creation.
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1
We may pray throughout the day by noticing God in our midst. The repetition of washing dishes or folding laundry may become prayer if our focus is on God. Interactions with others become moments of prayer when we see God in each other. When we allow ourselves to “listen with the ear of our heart” (St. Benedict), God speaks to us in ways we cannot know. We can notice God in the ordinary moments of our day, but it is also important to allow ourselves to listen and “be” with God in silence. Maybe this time works best for you first thing in the morning; maybe later at night fits better in your schedule. There is no right or wrong way to spend time with God. Sometimes the hardest part is doing it.
Preparing to Pray
Seek a quiet place away from distractions. It may be helpful to write down what is on your mind; then tuck it away so you can return to it later. Have a pen and a blank journal handy to write down any thoughts that may surface after your prayer time. You might also choose to have colored pencils or markers available in case your thoughts take the form of art
As you prepare to pray, you may wish to:
- Light a candle (a common symbol of memory, prayer, and presence; of the light that darkness could not overcome, and of the life that death cannot destroy)
- Take a few deep breaths to still your mind and body
- Be silent and open your heart to God’s presence; you may wish to recite a simple prayer such as this passage from Psalm 25:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. Close your eyes and listen for God’s voice
We can calm our rushing mind and body by being attentive to God’s presence. Our very intention of searching for God is prayer. If we look for God in everything we see, do, hear, taste and feel, we may experience the Spirit praying in us. Through this seeking, may our eyes and ears be opened to the healing presence of God.
Scripture Coming Alive
Another way you may wish to pray with scripture is by reading it out loud or asking someone to read to you. This can be a wonderful way of praying with friends or loved ones from a distance. There’s no need to be still while reading or meditating on a passage; moving can allow the words to move more deeply into our being. You may even wish to strike a pose, such as arms outstretched to the sky or simply curling your body into a ball, asking God to hold you in his loving arms. These are just a few ways we can allow God’s Word to come alive for us today.
Audio Divina (Sacred Listening) is a form of meditation like lectio divina (Sacred Reading). In audio divina, however, one invites the movement of the Holy Spirit through a musical composition rather than speaking through a text.
“Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.” -Meister Eckhart
When we sit with God in stillness, we open ourselves to the mystery of God. Centering Prayer involves weaving an environment of prayer and is an act of resting in God. It is Trinitarian in its source, Christ-centered in its focus, and ecclesial in its effects, that is, it builds and strengthens the community of faith. Learn how to practice Centering Prayer here. Before beginning this prayer, choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within. There are many sacred word possibilities; a few examples are: Jesus, Love, Peace, Listen, and Shalom.
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7
Bread for the Soul
One of the ways I experience God is through bread baking. Bread is so ordinary and necessary; full of mystery and sustenance. So is God. Join me, in my home kitchen, as spiritual readings are interwoven with the stages of bread production from yeast to loaf. If you would like to bake this bread at home, but have no yeast, contact me and I will mail a packet of yeast to you.
A labyrinth is a sacred path; a journey in our spiritual formation used for prayer, meditation and contemplation. It is an ancient form of walking prayer and meditation for those seeking God. Ladue Chapel’s canvas labyrinth is available to walk several times throughout the year.