By Samantha Carolus
Bringing a sense of quiet and calm to the busyness of Festival, Spiritfest’s Guided Prayer is a chance to give oneself the opportunity of a quiet time and space to become aware of God’s presence in one’s life.
Sister Ursula will lead the guided prayer sessions, with the help of Sister Geraldine. They are members of the St Patrick’s Church community and will be prayer companions throughout the sessions.
Guided prayer, a form of guided meditation, can be described as an adventure of prayer in the midst of your daily life. Some of the benefits of guided prayer include deepening your relationship with God, as well as helping you to experience a meeting with God in your everyday life. But perhaps the greatest benefit is that you may experience different ways of praying.
The guided prayer session takes the form of a one-on-one, confidential conversation in a warm comfortable space, in which there is listening and sharing of whatever is on your mind. It is then followed by focused prayer.
One may liken guided prayer to a doctor’s visit, says Sister Ursula. In the same way that you go the doctor and explain all the pain and symptoms you’ve been experiencing, you and your prayer companion discuss issues which trouble you, then your prayer companion offers to pray with you to calm your troubled heart. This can only deepen your relationship with God. As Sister Ursula says, this “has a ripple effect on your faith”.
Sister Ursula explains that the prayer guide gives the person an opportunity to reflect on what is happening in their daily life and where God and those around them fit into their schedules. The prayer guide is there to listen. This in turns helps to encourage and to help the person become more aware of God’s loving presence in his/her life. The session is usually half an hour and is carried out in an atmosphere of trust and confidentially. The event has seen great success over the years. “People feel more at peace and closer to their God, just after a quick and simple thirty minutes of prayer with many people leaving the sessions feeling more whole,” notes Sister Ursula.
Be sure to spend some quiet time with God from Monday 2 to Friday 6 July 10am-12pm (30-minute sessions) at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hill Street.
For more about Spiritfest see http://www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest