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The Labyrinth is a walking meditation
It is a tool that enables us,
in the midst of the busyness of life,
to be still and focus our thoughts and feelings.
Labyrinths can be found in Cathedrals all over Europe
and have been used by Christians for hundreds of years
as a means of meditation and
experience of the Divine Presence.
To enter a labyrinth is like entering a Cathedral.
You sense the presence of The Holy
Prayer Labyrinth - A Quiet Place to Pray
Be Still and Know that I Am God ~ Psalm 46:10
Our Christian life can be described as a journey with God, bringing us ever closer in our relationship with God and with others. A prayer walk labyrinth provides a metaphor model of our Christian life journey as we face many turns we did not expect in our search for a quiet centre. Some gently curving sections of the prayer walk allow us to move easily and quickly; others slow us down and catch our attention as they turn us abruptly in the opposite direction. The path may begin by leading us deceptively toward the centre, only to circle around it and then move away.
We may meet others on the way that we can follow or lead. We may need to step aside as someone with more confidence or experience moves quickly past us or we may simply be on a more contemplative walk, confident of where we are going but walking slowly to maximize the experience. On reaching the centre of the prayer labyrinth, we can rest, pray, or experience a new meaning to “being centred”. Does this sound interesting yet familiar to you? We encourage you to experience it.
There is no right or wrong way to walk this prayer labyrinth. The only rules are to respect the prayer walk and others who are there. Simply begin, focusing on a quiet mind and open heart that allows God to accompany you.
Instructions for walking the Prayer Walk Labyrinth
Please enter and remain in silence throughout the walk.
When you reach the centre, you may want to pause and experience God’s presence and/or offer a prayer.
Each person can establish the timing for walking the prayer path. You may need to step aside and allow someone walking more quickly to pass or you may quietly and carefully pass another person.
An often used process for the walk includes:
The Journey In: as you open your mind to spend this time
in the presence of God.
The Centre: where you can pause, pray or simply “be in the moment.”
The Journey Out: that allows you to reflect and gradually return
to your daily world.
What a Prayer Walk may mean to you
Listening for God’s voice or message to you. Quiet your mind, focusing on God and the walk. Finish your walk with prayer.
Releasing Worries and Cares. As you Journey In, lay down a worry or care with each step, remembering that Christ said, “Come to me all who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” At the Centre, thank God for the peace resulting from the walk in and pray for continued peace as you Journey Out. You can take a symbol in that you want to let go of and leave in the centre.
Confession, Repentance and Forgiveness. Ask God to be with you, Journey In with reflection and confession. At the Centre, ask God for guidance and direction for the future. Journey Out listening for God’s voice and giving thanks for his presence.
Discovering Your Vocation or Calling. As you Journey In, listen for God’s message to you, asking for his support. At the Centre, concentrate on the gifts and talents he has given you. As you Journey Out, pray for guidance and strength to equip and sustain you in His service
A Walk of Thanksgiving and Gratitude. As you Journey In, with each step think of something for which you are thankful. In the Centre, stop and thank God for the people and blessings you remember. On the Journey Out, experience the joy of those remembered blessings and the people of God who have been part of each blessing.
A Walk of Remembrance. As you Journey In, remember the person or event you are focusing on; the joys and special times you shared. If it’s an event, feel the joy of experiencing that special time and the people who helped make it such a blessing. In the Centre, thank God for this person or event that has made your life special. On the Journey Out, open your mind and heart to people and/or events that currently add meaning to your life.
Adapted from Guidelines from Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, California
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