On Friday a group of us from Good Shepherd went to the Good Samaritan Society’s Spirituality and Wholeness workshop, and the presenter had us do an interesting exercise.
He first asked us to assume the posture of someone who is happy. So, we all sat up straight in our seats, shoulders back, chin square, and lips smiling.
Then he asked us to assume the posture of someone who is depressed. So we hunched over, slouched our shoulders, put our heads down, fixed our eyes at the floor, or in some cases, closed them.
Then we went back to our natural posture.
Then, he said, “Let us pray...” and we assumed a prayer posture, which soon became obvious to many people in the room that our prayer postures looked a whole lot like the posture of a depressed person.
Interesting, isn’t it? We say that prayer connects us to God, but does our body language say something about that connection?
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard some criticize the way we morph our bodies when we pray. Some say that when we pray we try to make ourselves smaller in a false humility. And prayer is supposed to enlarge us, deepen our relationship with God, and broaden our vision of how God works in our lives and in the world. We don’t have to make ourselves smaller for God to be larger. God already is.
Others say that closing our eyes while praying pulls us inward rather than pushing us outward, creating a mass of self-centred Christians whose eyes are shut to the suffering of others. Closed-eyed prayer becomes all about ME and MY needs rather than about US. Open-eyed prayer helps us see the world that needs more of God.
I don’t know if any of that is true. But I do find it...(whole thing here)