Starter Prayer: Holy God, if life is an adventure in re-learning to pray, I’m all in. Show me great and wonderful things I do not know. Amen
Focus Word: Imagination
Optional Read-along: Water, Wind, Earth and Fire pp. 10b-13 (Introduction section: Cultivating our Relationship to Nature.)
Nature to a saint is sacramental. If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it. —Oswald Chambers
A sacrament is a visible symbol that points to the reality of God. And in most Christian traditions, a sacrament is more than mere symbol; it is a channel of God’s grace through which the power of God transforms life.
Oswald Chambers refers to nature as “sacramental.” He means that nature both symbolizes the reality of God and is an actual channel of God’s presence. He also suggests that we must use our imagination in order to experience God in nature.
Prayer requires imagination. Chet Raymo writes: All my life has been a relearning to pray—a letting go of incantational magic, petition, and the vain repetition “Me Lord, me,” instead watching attentively for the light that burns at the center of every star, every cell, every living creature, every human heart.
In our reading from Water, Wind, Earth and Fire the author explains: Chet Raymo’s words invite us into a different relationship to prayer. We are called to move beyond the prayers of asking for blessings on our lives and to become fully present to the gifts and energy of the world around us. We are invited to join in and participate in the prayer of praise already happening within creation.
Read aloud Psalm 96. Note how creation is described as a living choir. Use your imagination and place yourself in the choir alongside the trees, creatures and the earth herself. Then pray the Starter Prayer as a celebration of relearning to pray.
Tomorrow, we will post a Celtic Prayer for your Sunday meditation. On Monday, we begin our journey of re-learning to pray– with Brother Wind.
Be encouraged in your practice,
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This daily devotion is part of the Summer Growth Journey: Learning to Pray with Nature with Crossroads Church. Many of us are also reading through Water, Wind, Earth & Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements by Christine Valters Paintner. To purchase a copy, or for more information, email us at [email protected].