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50 Days of Prayer-Engaging our Emotions

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Think how much of our life is full of emotional responses?

What are two topics we are encouraged not to talk about b/c of the emotional responses? (Politics & religion)
Talking
Sports
Music
Food (what about Bob)Fay this is scrumptious, is it hand-shucked?
Relationships
Activity (I don’t really feel like it)
Decisions (Want peace, or un easy…not feeling it?)
Fight or Flight
Exercise

Emotional Intellience

Prayer is an Emotional Connection

Wesley —How is it with your soul
E. Stanley Jones on prayer.
Can’t have intimacy without shared emotional connections
What we know about the importance of emotional connections:
These words come from Focus on the Family, Bay Area Christian Church, Rick Warren, and Katharine Dicerbo
disappointment (we had hoped he would redeem Israel)
Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road??
They were startled and frightened—Peace to You
Sight-Lk 24:37
Hearing-vs 38
Tasting-vs. 41
Smelling—vs41
Touching—
Psalm 55:17–21 ESV
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah because they do not change and do not fear God. My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
Psalm 55:1
Emotional Connections:
An Emotional Connection happens when two (or more) people knowingly feel and perceive the same thing at the same time. 
1)Two lovers holding hands while gazing out together at a beautiful sunset
2)A mother and a baby feeling scared together after the baby falls over into a coffee table
3)A husband and a wife discussing and forming a shared commitment to financial goals
4)Two friends laughing together over an old teacher’s funny walk
Did you notice that some of the examples involve negative feelings?
That’s right: Some emotional connections center around uncomfortable emotions. But that’s part of the beauty because negative experiences and feelings are neutralized by a sense of support and belonging when we share them with another receptive human.
What are the components of shared experiences?
A) Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.
Empathy involves putting on someone else’s feelings, even if those feelings don’t come to you automatically.
By tapping into your built-in ability to empathize, you can create an emotional connection without having to wait around for it to happen spontaneously.
B) Vulnerability: empathy requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
empathy requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
We avoid validating the feelings of people close to us because we are afraid.
We are afraid that others they will take our empathy and use it to control us.We are afraid that if we stop trying to control the flow of conversation with light-hearted jokes that we’ll get pulled down into topics we feel emotionally unprepared to handle.We are afraid that if we empathize with someone else’s struggle that we’ll be acknowledging our own vulnerability instead of hiding behind a protective cloak of superiority.
Emotional Connections heal us. They make us feel safe. They make us feel like we have purpose. They make us feel like we can handle anything.
Emotional Connections heal us. They make us feel safe. They make us feel like we have purpose. They make us feel like we can handle anything.

What does this have to do with prayer?

The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image. If God wasn’t an emotional God, you wouldn’t have any emotions.
The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image. If God wasn’t an emotional God, you wouldn’t have any emotions.
Your ability to feel is a gift from God. Emotions are what make you human. It is your emotional ability that allows you to love and create and be faithful and loyal and kind and generous and all of the emotions that are attached to the good things in life. Your emotions may not always seem like a gift, but even the negative ones have a purpose in your life.
In his book, Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael McManus writes eloquently about intimacy and love. "We are most alive when we find it, most devastated when we lose it, most empty when we give up on it, most inhuman when we betray it, and most passionate when we pursue it."
In his book, Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael McManus writes eloquently about intimacy and love. "We are most alive when we find it, most devastated when we lose it, most empty when we give up on it, most inhuman when we betray it, and most passionate when we pursue it."
Our feelings are not there to be cast out or conquered. They're there to be engaged and expressed with imagination and intelligence. -- T.K. Coleman
Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions. -- David Borenstein

Emotions at the Resurrection

Prayer is sensual--
Sight-Lk 24:37
Hearing-vs 38
Tasting-vs. 41
Smelling—vs41
The women departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and RAN to tell his disciples.
Touching—
Women were frightened
Cleopas and other, disappointed {on the way to Emmaus(we had hoped he would redeem Israel)} Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road??
Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road??
They were startled and frightened—Peace to You
The women departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and RAN to tell his disciples.
Peter marvelled at what had happened.
Did our hearts not burn within us?
Why are you troubled and doubts arise in your hearts? ..while they still disbelieved for joy and were marvelling (amazed b/c of divine revelation)
Notice how Jesus responds to their emotions? Does he shame them OR does He honor them and empathize, but invite them to a new way of responding and processing?
Peace Be With You!
You doubt—touch my hands and side. But blessed are those who are able to believe without seeing?
Do you love me? 3x—of course…Alright, then know how and where our loving relationship will lead you. You are not to stay in the midst of shame and guilt, my love is calling you onward and upward.

Other Emotions in Scripture and prayer

Psalm 55:17–21 ESV
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah because they do not change and do not fear God. My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
, .
Isaiah 22:4 ESV
Therefore I said: “Look away from me; let me weep bitter tears; do not labor to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
Psalm 102:9 ESV
For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink,
Isaiah 22:4
Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Psalm 56:7–9 ESV
For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
Philippians 3:10–12 ESV
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
What others have to say about emotions and prayer
Wesley —How is it with your soul
Wesley —How is it with your soul
E. Stanley Jones on prayer—see book in my office.
St. Ignatius

Practical application of engaging our emotions in our relationships with God, and specifically prayer.

If prayer is a relational interaction, then I posit we must attend, give space, and prayer along with our emotions.
If a fundamental basis of our christian faith is that we were created by God, that we were made in His image, and we were made for relationship with Him, then why wouldn’t we give space, incorporate, and pay attention to the emotions that help us connect with God and grow in our love with Him?

Attending to our emotions in prayer

Jim Manney describes Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Imaginative prayer—put yourself into a scene of scripture, making yourself a participant and experiencing the text first hand.
Prayer of Examen—reviewing your day.
Colliquay —intimate conversation with you and God.
engaging emotions in prayer—understanding is good, feeling is better.
after conversion, feelings are key, changing our hearts enables us to get close to God, more than changing our mind. YEs knowledge and the mind are important, but it’s more important to have a passionate heartfelt relationship with God.
What you love gets you out of bed; what you love determines how you spend your time and who you spend your time with. conversion is about transformation of all of our faculties, beginning with the heart soul, mind, and activity (strength)
God also speaks to us through our emotions--
consolation—feelings that move us to God and others—peace security and joy
desolation—feelings that take us away from the love of God and others—anxiety, doubt, trouble.
feelings help in discernment, noticing feelings and
Ephesians 1:17–18 ESV
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Prayer is personal and relational
Prayer involves our emotions.
Just as psychologists and sociologists invite us to become emotionally intelligent ( the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically)
I believe an essential component of growing in our relationship with God and experiencing an intimate & devout prayer life, is to attend, give space, and prayer along with our emotions.
First step, being aware and giving space to our emotions—attending them.
Second Step, expressing, identifying, understanding
Third, using our emotions in prayer, as a way of having profound shared experiences that mature our loving relationship with God
This takes time, patience, practice, intent, grace & mercy. ....
Let’s Pray

50 Days of Prayer

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian-singles/what-it-means-to-be-intimate/developing-emotional-intimacy
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