Prayer and Blessing
Prayer and Blessing a method
Go to a quiet place, if possible.
You can sit, stand, or walk, but keep your back straight so your breathing is not constricted.
If you are sitting or standing, you may shut your eyes, although, if sitting, you might fall asleep. If you keep your eyes open or are walking, focus on the ground about three feet in front of you. If your vision distracts you, pull something over your head (a scarf or shawl) so your peripheral vision is restricted. You can imagine that as you enfold yourself in the scarf, you are enfolding yourself in prayer.
Breathe: listen to your breath until your mind stops racing around.
Imagine God directly in front of you or enfolding you.
Breathe to the Presence of the Lord; let His Presence breathe back to you.
Bless the Lord. To bless the Him means to offer to be open to His Presence in such a way that compassionate blessings flow from the Him through you and out into the world.
Now you begin to pray. Here are forms of prayer:
Sit still, just knowing each other's company.
Intercession and Petition
Speak your concerns for others (intercession) and for yourself (petition). Even if you don't vocalize, move your lips; the act of speaking helps keep your thoughts from wandering.
Let God=s Presence take your concerns; you can imagine handing them over, if you wish.
Promise to be open to His direction in whatever form that comes.
Thank God for at least 10 things today (for example, for your spouse and children, for your friends, for sunshine or clouds, for your in-basket being momentarily empty, for coffee - even office coffee! - and so on).
Tell the Lord where you think you went wrong.
Let His Presence take your wrongdoings; you can imagine handing them over, if you wish.
Promise to be open to His direction; again, in whatever form that comes.
When you must resume your everyday tasks, ask that you stay reminded of His presence wherever you go and whatever you do.
As you return to your everyday routine, try to see Him in the first 10 people that you meet - no matter who they are - and bless them all. The blessing may be silent. After that, bless others as you go.
The reason for blessing the first 10 people you meet is to help you see Gods Presence in everyone and to make blessing others as natural as breathing. You'll find it very difficult to let anger overtake you when you are saying a blessing, even when you are dealing with difficult people.
Some thoughts about prayers and blessings:
"Prayer is not a list of requests; it is an introspective process, a refining process of discovering what one is, what one should be, and how to achieve the transformation. "
"If prayer were intended only to inform God of our desires and deficiencies, it would be unnecessary. Its true purpose is to raise the level of the supplicants by helping them develop true perceptions of life so that they can become worthy of God's blessing."
"The desired result of prayer is the increase of God's presence."
"Let us bless God by creating the conditions for God to shower God's blessings on creation."
all above from Nosson Scherman, "Prayer, a Timeless Need"
"The nature of blessing is always reciprocal: we are blessed and, in turn, we must bless."
"But to be blessed and to bless, we must be compassionately connected. Blessing is a technique of inner transformation which moves us to a greater realization of self and God. It is a concrete action."
all above from Sara Shendelmann and Avram Davis, "Traditions"