For those of you who missed last Wednesday’s Prayer Practices or would like to go through these prayers again, here are the prayers we prayed through as we practiced the sign of the cross:
Small Sign of the Cross Meditation:
Action – taking the right thumb trace a small cross on the forehead, lips, and heart.
Forehead: Take your right hand and with your thumb trace a cross on your forehead and hold it there.
Pray now that Christ would be on your mind. Out of our minds come our intellect, our imagination, our memories, the processes that make us move and breathe. Pray that Christ would dwell in your minds. That His thoughts would be your thoughts. That the things you think about in private, the way you think of others, the way you think of yourself would be through Him. Now take a few moments and reflect on your mind. How is your thought life? Is it messy? Is it clear and focused on Jesus? Ask Jesus to show you those things which are not of him in your thoughts.
Philippians 4:8 says, And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Ask Jesus to fill your mind with Him.
Lips: Now take your right hand and move it down to your lips and trace a cross across your lips and hold it there. Proverbs 8:6-7 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, or my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
Pray that Christ would be on your lips. That His words would be your words. That He would be what flows from your mouths. Jesus tells us that it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you but what comes out. Take a few moments and reflect on your lips. How is your speech? Have you said something recently your not proud of? That makes you ashamed? How is your speech towards those around you? Your neighbors, coworkers, spouse, parents, children? Does it build up or does it tear down? Ask Jesus to reveal to you those things which are not of Him in your speech.
Psalm 63:3 says because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. As we listen to this song thank God for His love and praise Him for the things He has done in your life.
Ask Jesus to be what is on your lips.
Play – Psalm 63 (Robbie Seay Band)
Heart: Now place your right hand over your heart and trace the cross and hold your hand there. Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Just as you prayed that Christ would be on your lips, pray that He would be upon your heart. From your heart comes your hopes, your dreams, and desires. The very essence of who you are. Pray that what comes from your heart would be Christ. That His heart would be your heart, that His desires would be your desires. That rooted deep in your heart, would be His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His justice, His peace. That He would mold and shape your heart. Take a few moments and reflect on the condition of your heart. And as you look into your hearts and examine, who is king? Is it Jesus, yourself, someone or something else? Where our hearts are is where our worship is. Who are you worshipping?
Ask Jesus to be deep within your heart.
Play – Play Psalm 51/Come Thou Fount (A New Liturgy)
Sign of the Cross Meditation:
Action – Take your right hand, (thumb, index, middle together and ring/pinkie touching palm) Trace the cross from forehead to chest to left shoulder, to right shoulder
As we close our time of prayer we make the bigger sign of the cross. We pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit and we offer our whole selves up to God. Our minds, our hearts, our past our present and future. All that we are we give over to Him.
We take our right hand and touch it again to our foreheads. And we pray in the name of the Father. The almighty creator. Our provider. Our sustainer. The one who give and takes away. We ask that all that comes from our minds. All that we think and all that we use our minds for would go to give Him glory.
And we take our right hand and touch it to our chests. And we pray in the name of the Son. Our savior, our redeemer, our friend. The one who is emmanuel…God with us, who came and gave His life for us. And we give over to Him our heart, our soul. All that we have and all that we are His.
Now as we take our right hand and touch it to our left shoulder we give Him our past. We pray in the name of the Holy. and we know that the things that we have done and the person who we once were is washed clean through Jesus and because of His Spirit within us God sees us as holy. He has set us apart. Made us His own. We give over to Him our past and we look back not on who we are or what we have done but we look back at how good He is and what He has done.
As we pass from our left shoulder to our right, we look to our present and to our future and we pray in the name of the Spirit. He is our counselor, our helper. He is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and we offer ourselves to Him to lead and guide us both now and in the future. May he direct our paths and transform us into the image of Jesus. We give our futures over to God, knowing that He is in control.
As we bring our hands together in the center. We make the traditional sign of prayer. And we pray that God, who has made us all one together through the cross, would dwell richly within us, would use us and bless us. And we pray this to the Father, in the name of Jesus, the son, through the Spirit. Amen and Amen.