Forty Weeks ~ Sacred Story
Week 6 Prayer Exercises
Encouragements & Wisdom
In addition to this week’s prayer materials, there are Encouragements and Wisdom (PDF).
Wisdom from the Sacred Story Community
In addition to this week’s Encouragements and Wisdom, the Sacred Story Community offers their wisdom to this question: What advice would you give “to a person like yourself” to encourage them to continue Sacred Story at this point in the yearlong prayer journey? Wisdom from the Sacred Story Community, Week 6 (PDF).
Listening to Your History
1 I will plan my 15-minute quiet time(s) for the week ahead. I will visualize where I will go each day and at what time(s). I will ask God for the grace to help me keep those appointments throughout the week. I will seek a technology-free zone — a place apart.
2 I will have my notebook at hand for each prayer period.
3 The prayer exercise for this week is composed of two parts. I will take half of the week’s prayer periods for the first part and the other half of my prayer periods for the second part:
1. Once settled in prayer I will ask God to reveal to me the most important persons, life events, and/or issues that generate gratitude, hope and love in me.
2. Then I will ask God to reveal to me the most important persons, life events, and/or issues that evoke anger, fear or grief in me.
I will not read ahead.
I will awaken to the present moment.
I will take each day and each exercise as it comes.
I cannot do Sacred Story better by going faster.
I will ask God to help me.
Focus Affirmation for Week Six
I will say this affirmation aloud once daily:
I ask God to reveal to me the most important people, life events and/or issues in my story up to this point.
Read this at the beginning of the week
Each of us has persons, issues and life events that shape our life story, our history. We are conscious of some of these pieces, while others are buried deep in our memory. We seek grace to understand those things that, in negative and positive ways, most strongly shape our thoughts, actions, feelings, and beliefs linked to God, the world and ourselves. These persons, life events and issues are often linked to the spiritual plotlines in our life story, leading towards or away from God.
This week we seek God’s grace to awaken to our affective memories. That is, we want to recall the persons, life events or issues, and feel the emotional weight, and the heart value they have in our history. Because these significant elements often evade our conscious awareness, we need to rely on grace to reveal them.
Naturally, I seek insight into the closest, most intimate circle of people and events in my life story — my parents, family, friends, and important events. I will be attentive to the feeling these memories evoke.
For one life event, I might feel fear (something that has the power to generate the anxiety I know as fear). For another life event, my predominant feeling might be anger (someone or something that hurt me or a loved one). For one person, I might feel mostly love (someone who has cared deeply for me). For another person, I might feel anger (someone who hurt me in some way). For one issue, my predominant feeling might be grief (the loss of a loved one or an opportunity that grieves my heart). For another issue, my experience might be gratitude or hope (an issue that has positively transformed my life for the better).
Pray that God enlighten your mind and heart to know each person, issue or life event and the single, predominant feeling (fear, anger, or grief — gratitude, hope or love) each inspires.
For your prayer periods this week, sit apart in your quiet place. Find a comfortable position that permits you to be alert. Breathe deeply for a few minutes, mindful that God’s love sustains your very life. Next, using the personal name for God you identified last week, ask God to enlighten your memory and imagination so that the most significant people, issues and life events come into your mind and heart.
As you become aware of each, pause briefly and write down the name of the person, or the issue or life event that comes to memory. Next to each of these, write a single word for the most predominant feeling that arises in your heart. A word of caution here: do not succumb to the temptation to analyze or judge the feelings as they arise.
1). For the first half of the week, use the first chart to ask God to inspire you to remember the elements (person, issue, or life event) that generate gratitude, hope or love. Pray that those elements most important to your history come into your mind and heart.
2). For the second half of the week, use the next chart to ask God to inspire you to remember the person, issue, or life event that generate fear, anger or grief. Pray that those elements most important to your history come into your mind and heart.
Ten Persons/ Life Events/ Issues That Generate Gratitude, Hope or Love
|Persons/ Life Events/ Issues||Gratitude/ Hope/ Love|
Ten Persons/ Life Events/ Issues That Generate In You Fear, Anger or Grief
|Persons/ Life Events/ Issues||Fear/ Anger/ Grief|