Clothes Pegs and Elastic
On the way to 5 Senses to Prayer Book 2 - #8
There’s pretty much a possible experiential prayer in anything that requires an action from us. Today’s prayers are both prayers that were inspired by me fiddling with objects. Give me a spring clothes peg and if my mind is somewhere else, and there aren’t any clothes to hang on the line, I’ll start pegging papers or attaching the peg to the edge of a cup or something more surprising. The same with a piece of elastic. It’s very satisfying pulling a piece of elastic to full stretch and then watching it shrink back again.
It’s often those little things that we take for granted in managing our daily lives that inspire me to prayer. I’m quite a fan of Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a humble monk who had a simple way of praying. His daily life was a constant conversation with God. He combined contemplation while he was busy completing his chores. This is my kind of praying. Make me sit still and my mind will wander away creatively dreaming up ideas and plans and storylines. Give me a chore, and I’ll find this is the best way to still my mind and give me space to pray. Many people wrote to Brother Lawrence to receive his wisdom and advice and he responded. Some time after his death, the letters and conversations he’d had with people were published into a book, called, ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’. There are free versions available in EPUBs and if you’ve never read it, it’s a delight.
This week I’m running a little late with getting the prayers out to you, so it’s just a shorter introductory piece from me. I’ve been wondering if the intro pieces are too rambling and unnecssary or if they add value for you. I’d love to hear your feedback on this so pop your thoughts into a comment or send me an email.
I’ve been preparing for Stroll for Your Soul which is coming up soon on September 2nd. We wrote it months ago, but there’s always a bit of administration involved. If you’ve never participated in Stroll previously I’d love to have you join us. You’ll love the theme - it’s called, “Coming to our Senses” and brings a sensory lens to spring Strolling. As with previous years, we Stroll in September when it’s spring down here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The September Stroll is a repeat of the same Stroll hosted by Prayer Bench in May in Canada. If you’re heading into cooler weather, consider signing up for the sister resource Autumn Rambles which begins in October and is hosted by The Prayer Bench. Our pricing for Stroll is $25 per individual and $60 for a group. This is all in New Zealand Dollars which when converted makes it much cheaper in almost all other currencies. I’ve included a discount code for paid subscribers to the 5 Senses Virtual Prayer Room.
And now, on with today’s prayer offerings.
May the activities of daily living lead to moments of prayerful interaction with our God.
On the journey
Pegging T-shirts Prayer
Sense of Touch – Intercession (I.T.6)
T-shirts often have statements or images that indicate something about the wearer. In wearing a t-shirt, the person may be showing that they belong to a group or club, attended a special event, like a particular brand or are a fan of a show or movie or character. Cutout t-shirt shapes from white paper. Think of someone who has current needs that you’d like to pray for today. Draw images or symbols representing the person or their current needs. Peg your t-shirts to a clothesline. As you attach each t-shirt with a peg to the clothesline, pray a one sentence prayer for the person you’re thinking about today.
Getting ready checklist
· Portable clothesline
· White t-shirt shapes cut out of paper or white knit fabric
· Coloured felt-tip pens, coloured pencils and/or crayons
Further suggestions and adaptations on using this prayer
Make a clothesline or use a portable clothesline. Pre-peg a couple of actual t-shirts on the clothesline. Fill a small laundry basket with blank t-shirt shapes. Place a container of pegs at the base of the clothesline. Decorate the space pin real t-shirts or larger paper t-shirts with slogans and images on them. Provide an area for drawing and suitable pens and pencils. Peg the station instructions to the clothesline so that they are easily readable.
Use an actual plain white t-shirt and fabric pens or crayons. Draw your prayers on the t-shirt.
Set up a clothesline near the group seating. Hand out a t-shirt shape to each person and a board to lean on to draw on the t-shirt. Provide pens, pencils, or crayons for the group to share. When participants are ready to pray invite them to move from their seated position and peg their t-shirt on the clothesline and pray for the person and their needs.
Hand out small t-shirt shapes as participants come into your gathering along with a single coloured pencil. At a given point in your gathered together experience introduce the prayer and invite participants to draw a symbol on their t-shirt. Invite participants to move from their seats to one of the string clotheslines set up around the space. Invite them to ‘peg’ their t-shirt prayer using a paper clip. Leave the prayers up for a couple of weeks as reminders of the prayers prayed for individuals with real needs.
Visual Images - Static, Projected, Live Props
· T-shirts with slogans
· Clotheslines with laundry
· Washing and pegging out laundry