If you’ve grown up in a Protestant church tradition, as I have, you may have learned that prayer is a spiritual and intellectual experience, not a bodily one. Prayer is sentences written in a journal or thoughts offered internally to God or words spoken out loud from up front in church.
In recent years, I’ve learned that prayer can also be a bodily experience, a time of communing with God through our whole selves, body, mind, and spirit. I’ve seen some of that modeled in my own tradition, whether through raising hands in the air or kneeling down or laying hands on one another. I’ve also been drawn to practices like yoga, which have invited me to connect my body and mind and spirit even more.
So for those of you who are, like me, looking for ways to connect your mind, body, and spirit in prayer, here are three possibilities:
1. Look for a local labyrinth.
I was skeptical of labyrinths until I actually prayed my way through one and realized how powerful it could be to walk a winding path while praying about trusting the path God set out for me.
2. Pick up Mark Scandrette’s book about the Beatitudes, The Ninefold Path of Jesus.
This book is short and simple and offers a physical posture to accompany each “way” of Jesus. He ends the book with a description of himself walking around his neighborhood and praying through each posture on a regular basis.
3. Incorporate what I call “body prayers” into your own practice.
Notice the places in your body that feel tight or painful and ask God whether your body is inviting you to pay attention to an emotion or spiritual reality that you would otherwise avoid or ignore. For more guidance on how to bring prayer to your body and bring your body to God in prayer, check out my free Guide to Body Prayers.
As humans, we are comprised of body, mind, and spirit. And we are invited to bring our whole selves to God.
More with Amy Julia:
- Free PDF: A Guide to Body Prayers
- Labyrinths, Prayer, and Life
- A Life-Changing Daily Prayer Practice: Prayer of Examen
If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to receive regular updates and news. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Goodreads, and you can subscribe to my Love Is Stronger Than Fear podcast on your favorite podcast platform.