Monthly Prayer Page: May

Welcome to the Jesuit Missions Monthly Prayer Page. Here you will find topical prayers and different prayer styles to help broaden and deepen your prayer life in the tradition of Ignatian spirituality

JM Prayer Focus: Africa Day. Wednesday 25th May 2016.

Suggested Prayer Type: Praying with Art

What better way to celebrate such a vibrant and diverse continent than by praying with an image or a work of art? Perhaps there is an image or work of art that ‘speaks to you’ in your daily life. Why not pray with it this month? Take the time to stop, look and listen to the image and the messages God is giving you through it. Below are some images to help stimulate prayer, along with our advice on how to engage in praying with this, or any, work of art.

Prayer Stimuli:

May1

May2

Wildlife in Zimbabwe

Children of Chinoyi, a Jesuit Missions project in Zimbabwe

Children of Chinoyi, a Jesuit Missions project in Zimbabwe

Some Prayerful Advice:

  • Choose one image and one that ‘speaks to you’ for some reason. This is a way of letting the Holy Spirit work in your prayer life and embracing divine providence.
  • Spend the first few minutes taking in the image in its entire entirety, looking in all four corners and ensuring you have appreciated all of it. That’s not to say that later in the pray you may ‘see something’ you originally did not…
  • Use your senses: your sight to savour the colours, objects and faces; your taste and smell to appreciate the abundance of nature; your hearing and touch to place yourself in the scene.
  • Let your eyes last longingly on areas that attract your attention. Gaze lovingly at these places. Allow your imagination to wander and your heart to ‘marinate’ in the feelings they invoke.
  • Perhaps at this stage you would like to ask yourself some of following questions:
    • What memories does this invoke?
    • Am I present in this image? If so, where?
    • Where do I find God in this image?
    • Is God speaking to me through this image? What is he saying?

Final words of wisdom:

“Praying does not mean listening to yourself speak; praying means calming down and being still and waiting until you hear God.” (Søren Kierkegaard)

Good luck with this prayer – we hope you find it as fruitful and life-giving as the continent of Africa that we hold close this month in our thoughts and prayers – as well as in our work.

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Click here for a PDF version of this month’s prayer.