As 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.]