Book Review: Praying with Body and Soul*

My prayer now includes silence and stillness, movement and imagination, sensuality and sexuality, laughter and play, work, service, and the struggle for justice. Prayer has become for me the practice of bringing all of who I have been, all of who I am, and all of who I am becoming into relationship with God. When I bring all of myself to God, I am praying with body and soul. ~Jane Vennard~

I have been trying to think up something to say about Praying with Body and Soul by Jane Vennard other than, ” This Book is awesome.”

I knew from chapter one that I was going to fall in love with this book because the author and I seem to have the same philosophy around spirituality. Strange since I am a Wiccan in a Buddhist Chaplain degree program while she is an ordained Christian minister. Our views should be on opposing  sides of reality, right?

I believe that faith and spiritual practice is not about being nice and holy. It is about emerging oneself into one’s spiritual journey in order to be fully present to what is divine. It is about wholeness and not about putting on a false face to please some distant deity. Vennard’s way of approaching spirituality is very much in line with these beliefs.

Jane Vennard speaks about prayer, faith and practice in terms of coming into complete relationship with God. Her book teaches readers to let go of barriers that separate them from the full expression of God. It other words, stop being polite and afraid and start really praying. Chapter after Chapter she challenges the reader to show God all our different faces. The Book teaches how to pray in every situation and let go of assumptions that there is a right way or a right moment for pray. The Book reassures that the divine wants to hear our true reality and wants to be in relationship with us. Of course like most relationships this means embracing honesty , fearless and the willingness to be vulnerable.

So, I wound recommend this book to anyone looking to bring prayer into their everyday lives. If you are not Christian you may have to substitute some of the terms used. But it is worth it, if you want your prayers to become more alive and real. If you want an honest relationship with whatever you hold sacred.

*This is a honest review, Book was purchased with my own money.

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This Week in prayer :Candlemas/Imbolc

Since, I was doing a ritual for Imbolc, I decided to use this opportunity to also write my prayer for my Applied Theology class…

On this day of Candlemas
May the union of the Divine Bride and Groom
spark hope and gratitude in us for new beginnings.
May the Sun King shine his light on our deepest fears and greatest dreams
With this wisdom we let go of all obstacles that stand in the way of our highest potential.
Purified of uncertainty, like the Virgin Goddess, may our hearts intertwine with the Spirit of Love.

 

In case you are curious, we ended up drawing our dreams/hopes for the future as our ritual activity. In other words, creating a” seed” to be planted in Spring season.

Learning how to Prayer

In my Applied theology class we will be writing prayers every week. I am excited about this opportunity to “learn how to pray” for myself and others.  I figured I would share some of the prayers as I go along. Free feel to offer prayers you have written or love in the comments.  After all, what could be more healing than praying together?

Goddess & Guides,

I simply pray for the energy to make it through the day,

For fearlessness to face the ugliness and ignorance in the world,

And may I never lose my trust in you,

So, I am always full with your endless undying love,

That I may always feel whole and never alone.