Each day choose one of the following healing or contemplation-in-action prayers and pray it for at least 10 minutes. These prayers are only suggestions. Perhaps you will find yourself drawn to pray what is in your heart using varied breathing, a symbol, a repeated word, a melody, a gesture, a drawing, or a piece of clay which you can mold. Although there are many prayers suggested, it would be best to pray only a few of them, parts of them, or to repeat from this or any other chapter the prayer that most moved your heart. Use whatever way you can best give your heart to Jesus and enter into his heart. Perhaps your prayer will be as simple as looking at a beautiful flower and taking in God’s love for you. You may wish to begin your prayer by centering yourself.
1. Healing Through Receiving God’s Love
Prayerfully read Isaiah 49:14-17:
I will never forget you, my people. I have carved you in the palm of my hand. I will not leave you orphaned. I will never forget my own.
Place your left hand in the palm of your right hand.
Be attentive to any tenseness in your right hand or left arm. Move your hand or arm until your left hand is resting in the palm of your right hand. Readjust your right hand until it holds the left hand securely.
Let your right hand be the hand of the Father who will never forget you. Feel the strength and sureness of that Father’s hand and enjoy how good it feels to rest in the palm of his hand.
Then take a deep breath and ask the Father to bring to mind one moment when you felt especially loved by him, especially held in the palm of his hand. Perhaps it was a moment when you received physical or emotional healing, or a moment of solitude or forgiveness when you felt loved by him. Perhaps it was the time of your marriage, first child, or other joyful event.
Enjoy that moment with him and once again give thanks as you rest in his love.
2. Embrace Prayer
See Jesus standing before you, or seated in a rocking chair. See him open his arms and invite you to him. Go to him, letting him hold you and perhaps rock you in the chair. Feel his arms around you and let yourself be loved as if you were a small child in its father’s arms. (You may want to pray in a similar way with the Father or with Mary as your mother).
3. Prayer for Receiving the Grace of This Lesson
Ask Jesus to give you his ability to receive love from the Father. Breathe it in with every breath and breathe out all the blocks in yourself to letting the Father love you. (You may wish to pray this prayer with Mary instead of Jesus.)
4. Period Prayer
Recall a specific period of your life (in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood) or a period of life when you felt least loved.
Within a circle, write the names of ten people through whom God loved you and called you to grow during this period. Draw a small circle around each of these names.
Within the circle, write ten events through which God loved you and called you to grow during this period. Draw a small rectangle around each of these events.
Spend time in prayer thanking God for each way he loved you during this time.
5. Sun Prayer
Jesus is the light of the world. Soak yourself in the sun, letting it fill you with Jesus’s love. Breathe in Jesus’s love and breathe out your thanks.
6. Body Gratitude Prayer
Focus your attention on each part of your body, beginning with your forehead and gradually moving down to your toes. As you focus on each part, be aware of how the surface of that part feels, perhaps even tensing it and then relaxing it.
When you have become fully aware of a given part, thank God for it.
In gratitude for the ways in which it serves you, make the sign of the cross on each part of your body as a way of consecrating it to serve God.
7. Hand Prayer
Take the hand of another person, or imagine yourself holding another’s hand.
Now let the hand you are holding become the hand of the person who has loved you the most, the person with whom you have had the most good times.
Thank Jesus for all that this person has been for you.
This person’s hand is the hand that has been most like Jesus’s hand in your life. Because Jesus was with your friend, your friend was able to forgive you, to heal you, to perhaps even be willing to lay down his or her life for you. Let that hand gradually become the hand of Jesus.
Thank Jesus for all that he has been for you through your friend.
8. Sleep Prayer
Skim over the events of the day and give thanks for the events that you are most grateful for.
Breathe out into Jesus’s healing hands the event for which you are least grateful.
When the event for which you are least grateful is in Jesus’s hands, fall asleep saying, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Recall a moment when you felt deeply loved. Recall the beauty that you felt within yourself and the sense of your own goodness. Re-experience that moment, thanking God for revealing to you then the wonderful person that he sees when he looks at you.
Prayerfully read Psalm 139:13-16:
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.