A few years back, I had a series of meaningful experiences through imaginative prayer…
OH WOVEN ONES; quilt created by Lynda Shaw
Artist’s Statement: “This woven quilt pattern speaks of the First Nations weavers, the weaving of community, of country, and the ultimate weaver — ‘Our Father.’ I am reminded that my country ‘O Canada,’ our home ON native land, is one in which I’ve been woven into by God. The backside of quilting reveals the weavers’ flaws (mine, in this case). I trust the viewer understands the imperfect to be covered by the Perfect.”
A few years back, I had a series of meaningful experiences through imaginative prayer. One especially profound experience involved the image of people gathered in a circle, around a large fire. The men and women surrounding me seemed to be in great spirits, chatting with each other and looking to Jesus — who was tending the fire. The man next to me seemed so familiar, although I had not met him before. Then someone called him by name, “Peter.” It dawned on me that this was Simon Peter: Jesus’ friend and disciple. I began looking around the circle realizing all the disciples were here, and everyone around this fire knew, loved, and served Jesus. Peter pointed to Jesus as he added another log, and his face was delighted; in awe of Jesus’ simply tending to the fire. In that moment I felt like God reminded me of my calling: pointing to Jesus just as those before me did. Reminding others that as people of faith, our greatest offering to the world is to pay attention to (and delight in!) the goodness of God.
When I think of the Lord’s Prayer and the communal ‘our’ that starts this prayer, I feel Jesus reminds us of the great story and family of which we are a part. The ‘our’ is a reminder that not only are we communing in prayer with others in this moment across the world, we’re also part of the long history of God’s people. As a person of faith in the year 2022, it can feel frustrating to see your brothers and sisters representing God in ways you don’t agree with. But our story is ultimately God’s; it’s bigger than political differences, preferences, pain, loneliness, or opinions.
FOR REFLECTION DURING PRAYER
Take some time to pray through the entire Lord’s Prayer this week. Perhaps you can choose to pray it at the same time every day for a week, or you could set aside a longer time one day during the week and pray it only once. Take time in particular with the opening phrase, Our Father in Heaven. What spiritual siblings – past and present – does Jesus bring to mind as we begin this prayer with the word Our? Is there anyone, perhaps particular followers of Jesus, you imagine it to be painful or difficult to pray this alongside? If so: Include these people in your prayers this week.