Bringing a sense of quiet and calmness to the business 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 be leading 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 are that it deepens your relationship with God, and you 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 heart and 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 feel and have been experiencing, you would go to your prayer companion and discuss the issues which trouble you, then like the doctor gives you medicine to treat the symptoms, your prayer companion will give you prayers and help you to pray over the issue troubling your heart, which will help you 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 daily 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. Sister Ursula notes that “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”.
Be sure to spend some quiet time with God in and amongst the business of the festival until Friday 6 July from 10:00-12:00 (30-minute sessions) at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Hill Street.
For more about Spiritfest see: http://www.grahamstowncathedral.org/spiritfest
By Samantha Carolus