Postured Prayer

On Tuesday I had the opportunity of facilitating a day of solitude for our church community’s staff. We started off with a corporate time of worship and teaching to align our hearts and minds, and then allowed the rest of the day for each person to go off on their own, as connectedness demands disconnectedness.

I then had one of my ministry partners lead the closing group time, allowing her to do whatever she desired. As a yoga instructor, she decided to create a 20-minute exercise in what she titled, “postured prayer,” incorporating scripture, music, prayer, meditation, relaxation exercises, and visualization techniques.

The experience was one I have never encountered, and walked away very impressed and moved.

To check out and use the script she created for this experience click HERE

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~ by Dave Smith on January 7, 2009.

14 Responses to “Postured Prayer”

  1. sounds great.

    so would a woman be allowed to lead the entire congregation in that form of worship? or only the church leadership?

    that might sounds sarcastic and cynical, but I meant it as an honest question.

  2. We currently have a female worship leader that leads our congregation in worship from time to time…so in regards to the female question, YES.

    As for the mode of worship (postured prayer), that would definitely be a stretch for a general worship service, and probably just wouldn’t work due to the context (for our us).

  3. Awesome idea! We did something similar (minus the yoga) in our ABF about a month ago.

  4. Creepy, what kind of church is this? Sounds like some kind of eastern mistic cult thing.

  5. It’s the Creepy Eastern Mystic Cult of Jesus Christ.

  6. Well, I’ve followed Christ and studied the bible for over 25 years and have never come across Jesus doing thing in this manner. Do you have scripture references?

  7. Ahh, didn’t realize you were being serious. Sorry Joe, sometime the sarcasim around this blog can be a little thick, so apologies for my previous playful reply.

    This is a really good question and tends to be one that is raised whenever a church adds various methodologies that apparently reside outside of scripture (i.e. psychology, marketing, pretty much anything within the social sciences).

    I would say that the biblical principles this postured prayer reflects would be solitude, the meditation of God’s Word, and various postures seen within various acts of worship (O.T. and N.T.) that state one’s submission and worship through their physical position and not simply through verbal words. (i.e. Luke 5:12, etc, etc, etc.)

    So, I think at its core we can see this practice reflect biblical principles…but not necessarily does it reflect exact biblical methodologies (as methodologies are suppose to alter over a span of time and based on context).

    We see Jesus taking solitude, so we can follow in his footsteps of placing the holy habit of solitude within our lives (& interally rest each moment knowing He is God), but HOW that looks in our world is where freedom is given.

    For example, I see people worshipping through music in the Bible (Psalms), but I don’t think using words on the screen to sing from is corrupt in our day just because it is absent from scripture. I may realize that God’s Word was learned and understood through oral tradition, but I don’t think that a written Bible is corrupt just cause it wasn’t the way Jesus studied God’s word in the past. Nor do I see it sinful for a church to implement marketing stratgies either even though Jesus didn’t have a sign outside the temple he was teaching at (If your church has a sign, web site, etc…then they have embraced the social science of marketing whether you like it or not).

    Maybe it goes back to what Hirsch/Frost write about in their book, “The Shaping of Things to Come,”…when it comes to God’s people…where God is, there is no difference between the sacred and secular…allowing us to redeem all practices in the world today…in the name of Jesus.

    At the same time your caution is good…and is a good reminder that all of our methodologies must first be filtered through scripture and relfect our theologies.

  8. Also, Jesus never used powerpoint presentations in his sermons, never played guitar in a worship service, and never watched TV.

    In fact, if we were to model our worship services after what the Gospels tell us about Jesus’ mode of worship, we wouldn’t have much to go on.

    For what it’s worth, Scripture is filled with exhortations to meditate upon Scripture, particularly in the OT. Perhaps most notably, Joshua 1:8.

    I think you’re right, Dave. Culture can be employed in worship and redeemed by Jesus in the process.

  9. PS ~ Thanks for answering my earlier question about women leading worship. I’m glad to hear that, actually.

  10. I have no problem with technology, it’s using the ancient arts that Jesus choose not to employ that makes me nervous. Meditation on scripture, great, but meditation on a mission statement?

    I have no formal training in religion but the statement “there is no difference between the sacred and secular…allowing us to redeem all practices in the world today” seems to say that all things are acceptable, is that right and biblical?

  11. Yea, again, good caution.

    I wonder if we can make the assumption that if Jesus decided not to use an ancient practice of his day…that we shouldn’t use it either. (As we also have to remember that not all of Jesus’ practices were not written in scripture as Jesus’ methodology isn’t the point God is wanting us to take from scripture, but instead an understanding of who he is and the salvation he can only bring).

    The meaning behind the statement, “Take a moment to lift up the vision and goals” in the document simply implied the taking of time to pray for our church’s vision and goals. I believe those are solid actions for God’s people to take, showing that He is and needs to be at the forefront of all we do as we humbly serve him (while prayerfully making plans for the future as an act of good stewardhip and shepherding/leading).

    I think the statement about the sacred/secular is seeking to reflect a little of 1 Corinthians 6:12, but to also recognize that anywhere in the world…if with a proper biblical perspective, remaing internally pure, and acknoledging our allegience to Christ and his mission, we can go anywhere and thereby work a process of redemption with or on anything.

  12. To summarize Richard Foster in his great book Celebration of Discipline:

    The difference between Christian meditation and other forms is as follows. In pagan forms of meditation, the goal is to empty oneself for its own sake in order to free oneself from fear, anxiety, etc. The goal of Christian meditation is also to empty oneself, but not for its own sake. Ash Christians, we empty ourselves in order to be (re)filled with the Spirit, who conforms us into the image of Christ.

    The former promises freedom and ends in slavery. The latter is criticized for being restrictive and binding, yet results in true freedom.

  13. Good dialogue, gentlemen. I will use some of this Sunday in ABF.

  14. Now we are getting heretical!

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