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    Creative Prayer sm jpg.jpg

    I have always felt a little uneasy discussing prayer in groups because I am so aware of how my favorite form of prayer is simply not recognized as a valid way to approach God.  I have tried to explain this "larger than words" concept that usually leaves others with a puzzled look.  With time to think, I will try to explain it here.   More importantly, I am trying to find the perfect expression of creative prayer in a visual format.  As I work through this, I will post images to accompany the thoughts.

    The life force in each of us is a holy energy...I believe the presence of the Holy Spirit (the Lord, the Giver of Life).  Our free will allows us to unite with or ignore that energy.  

    The word enthusiasm is Greek (enthousiasmos) and means inspiration or presence of a God.  So enthusiasm is, in its original sense, the sign of God within.  For me creative prayer is an awareness of the indwelling spirit and a grateful response to that power.  The creative prayer consciously returns the favor, uses the gift of the spirit, joins God in the creative process and becomes a willing instrument of construction.  When I do not choose to respond to this reality, I am not engaged in prayer.  When I choose to respond to this reality my soul is blessed with a "tremendous energy for the new" to borrow a phrase from my favorite bishop, Marc Andrus.  No greater joy can be found.  No greater meaning can be identified.  No greater transformation can occur. Sketch.jpg

    When I think of prayer, I think of energy.  I sometimes see it as a one way street where I ask and hope God is going to bestow the blessing I think I or someone else needs.  But more often my view of prayer is a two way street, a communing, an exchange that requires my response similarly to the way I want God's response.  The flames of my desire mingle with glory and return to me as inspired energy, gratitude and, yes, conviction.  It seems more productive to desire inspiration to do and be what and who I am and who the creator wills me to become and to find joy therein than to desire that someone else or the weather comply with my wishes. 

    But how does creative prayer fit into the concept of praying for one's enemies?  Do I pray that they see things my way and use my energy to help them do so, or do I pray that they find happiness and blessing despite their doing of evil and go play somewhere else?  Obviously the former is better than the latter, but neither really works for me, and it is doubtful that either will do them or me any good.  So what's that all about?  Is it not odd that we are instucted by scripture to pray for our enemies, but we are not told what or how to pray for them?  I would prefer more instruction and less pious reminders to pray for Joe as Joe beats me senseless and bruises my soul.  Jesus prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."  What if they do know what they do?  Do I assume they know not what they do, or do I assume they might and free will allows them to choose evil?  I suppose my confusion underscores the nature of this word and image exercise as a study.  I have not yet learned how to creatively pray with any sincerety for my enemies, but might it be as simple as asking that the evil lodge not in his or my soul to strengthen destruction and block creation?  

    There are a number of mystics who have addressed prayer through creativity, but this does not seem to be a concept that is embraced by traditional religion.     3 from cross.jpg