Re-imagining How We Pray

aprilyamasaki.com // Return to Our SensesAs part of worship in my congregation, we often have a prayer with the children folding their hands, bowing their heads, and closing their eyes. It’s a way of focusing their attention instead of climbing on the church steps, waving at a grandparent, giggling with a friend, or otherwise being distracted. For adults too, prayer often means bowing our heads and closing our eyes.

But what if we could re-imagine how we pray?

Instead of closing our eyes to the world as a distraction, what if we would pray with eyes wide open to the beauty of God’s creation? What if we would pray with our eyes on Scripture? What if we would pray with heads unbowed and facing into the reality of the joy and pain of the world around us?

Christine Sine’s book, Return to Our Senses: re-imagining how we pray (Mustard Seed Associates, 2012), is a helpful guide to doing just that. In her book, prayer is learning to breathe deeply, learning to listen for God, seeing with new eyes, remembering stories and gathering memories, and so much more. I love the way that seeing a rainbow, making tea, collecting rocks, and other simple activities can become part of the way we pray.

This book is a treasure trove of personal examples, practical exercises to try, prayers, and footnotes to additional resources both in print and online. I’m still following up all of the listed links! A free study guide for personal or group use is also available.

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Christine Sine and Mustard Seed Associates. This review is my own honest response.]



Categories: Book Reviews, Spiritual Practice

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9 replies

  1. Thanks, April. I have always prayed in that way, it is how I feel comfortable with God, in my everyday activities; always aware of God’s presence, always mindful that God is with me in all I do. I do acknowledge that there is a time and a place for quiet, folding of the hands and shutting of the eyes kind of praying, but for me the other works so much better! I somehow feel validated to hear that it’s okay to feel that way (intuitively I know it!).

    Hardy and I are just reading your devotionals in REJOICE this week (we are a little behind). Thanks especially for the devotionals entitled GOD’S GRACE AT WORK (about capable leadership), LISTENINg TO GOD (about acknowledging God’s presence) and READY FOR WORSHIP ( I especially liked what you said about treating others well when you prepare for worship).

  2. Since He knows our innermost being then our innermost dialogue within He is privy to. Perhaps that is why Jesus advised to “go into our closets to pray” as what was said externally could be for propaganda.

  3. Most of us were taught at a young age that ‘prayer’ was only about asking God for the things or outcomes that we desired, many will carry that teaching through life and to the grave with them, never tasting the deep inner joy of silent Communion.

  4. Thanks for sharing! Personally, I have found reflective walks in nature to be the most spiritual.

  5. Thank you all for sharing – I love the depth and breadth of expressions of prayer. God meets us in so many different ways.

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