Saturday, February 20, 2010

40 day journey with Martin Luther: Day 4 The Garland of Prayer

"[on prayer with the commandments, using the image of a 4-strand garland "The Garland of Prayer"]I think of each commandment as, first, instruction...and consider what the Lord God demands of me so earnestly. Second, I turn it into a thanksgiving; third, a confession; and fourth, a prayer." --Martin Luther

Journal Reflection:

Why not try the garland of prayer?

I must admit, I am resistant to trying a prayer "technique." It feels a bit contrived, sort of like the Father Weejus prayers. However, any prayer can be contrived if it's not from the heart. For Luther, it seems that praying the commandments helped him recognize that the contrivance was his, and not God's. That prayer, instruction and confession and joy are worthy pursuits. For being a great theologian, Luther was also one who made prayer not merely a discipline for discipline's sake, but a dynamic discipline that reflected his own desire to connect with a merciful God. I think my resistance to praying in this way may have more to do with the daunting nature of this prayer. Praying all of the Ten Commandments with a garland of prayer? My patience, my work ethic, and the exposing nature of confession is painful. Today I did a garland of prayer with one commandment. We'll see where this goes. But it was definitely thought-provoking.

I have had other "techniques" of prayer with longevity, but they were all in partnership with colleagues and friends: lectio divina and the Lambeth Bible study. I suppose it could take root in a small group. I know a pastor who makes something like this part of every worship service.

No comments:

Post a Comment