Friday, August 06, 2004

Donec formitur retreat looks at prayer

Last week I was struggling with the Donec formitur retreat, but this week is smooth sailing. Week two has the retreatant trying different forms of prayer: lectio divina, centering, Ignatian contemplation (imaginative prayer). I find all three helpful, and in addition I find I can do some of the best meditation/contemplation when praying for other people.

I bought a book called Praying for the World's 365 Most Influential People, and similarly to Hollywood Prayer Partners, it has us pray daily for specific people engaged in various influential areas: media folks, sports folks, political pundits, scientists, musicians, world leaders, religious figures, politicians, writers, actors, producers, medical experts.

I find I am very motivated to pray for other people. When I am doing this, my mind and spirit range outward to the whole world, away from my own little narrow self, and I find it easy to slide from meditation to contemplation, letting myself be guided by the thoughts and images that spring up as I pour my heart out to God asking that this person be blessed and healed and given whatever he or she needs to make their life better. That has always been the case when I pray for my own family and friends, and it holds for when I pray for those who have influence in the world.

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