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Spiritual Practices

​Labyrinths have been around since ancient times. During the Middle Ages, you could find one in nearly 25% of cathedrals. Because not everyone could make the journey to the Holy Land, walking a cathedral labyrinth was oftentimes a substitute for going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, becoming a devotional activity.

Today labyrinths are used as walking meditations, and may be found in medical centers, spas, parks, schools, prisons, playgrounds, retreat centers, and even people’s backyards. There's even a world-wide labyrinth locator.

The practice of walking [or in this case, using your finger to 'walk'] the labyrinth provides an opportunity deepen your awareness of God’s Presence and guidance. So today, find time to slow down and prayerfully listen. Perhaps you print out the image below and walk through the labyrinth with your finger. Or maybe you trace it with your finger on your computer screen or smartphone. Maybe you know of a labyrinth nearby and you will visit it today.

Whatever you do, consider these things before walking:

  • Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Let go of thoughts that creep in during this time. Notice what happens.
  • Perhaps there's a question you've been thinking about or a decision you need to make. The labyrinth may help you focus on this. Remember, walking the labyrinth isn't like asking a magic 8 ball a question, but a time for centering, deep listening and gaining clarity.
  • Maybe there is a word or phrase that you utter as you make your way through the labyrinth. Similar to a breath prayer, let this word or phrase guide you.
  • There's no right way to walk a labyrinth [it's not a race!], so listen to your breath and how fast or slow your body wants to go.

Blessings as you meditate on the path ahead.

This article is courtesy of United Methodist Communications.  For more such articles try 

Spiritual Practices

​Check out the Small Group Study page for further opportunities for spiritual development.  Click here.

Make your ways known to me, Lord;

    teach me your paths.

- Psalm 25:1-4, Common English Bible                               and The Message

At the United Methodist General Conference, every delegate and church leader received a set of prayer beads made especially for 2016 in Portland. The United Methodist artist who helped craft the design says Protestant prayer beads are an idea that is catching on.

Kristen Vincent is a United Methodist who says her calling to introduce people to prayer beads grew out of her own difficulties with prayer and not knowing how to go about it. Vincent says prayer beads solved that problem and they can help anyone find focus and improve their prayer life.

This video was produced by  United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.

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