22 May 2012 a post by Bruce Stanley

Nature Inspired Binding Prayer exercise for Forest Church

Mid Wales Forest Church began last Sunday, the third Sunday in May. We walked from a spectacular view point down a valley alive with signs of spring and through a long since abandoned mine and quarry area back to the starting point.

[Find out more about Forest Church here]

wood sorrel

We used two exercises to focus our thoughts as we walked and I thought I’d share one of them here.

There is a section of St Patrick’s Breastplate prayer that goes:

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea

We used this pattern to form a similar group prayer at the end of the walk. Each person present was asked to remain open to natures inspiration, to wait for something to grab their attention in a positive way and to find a strong attribute to describe that attraction or element. For example, ‘The energy of the new birch leaves’, or ‘the playfulness of the calves’. These attributes might be things that we want more of in our lives or we can use to meditate and gain a different perspective from.

At the end of the walk, the final prayer began,

Spirit of Christ
We bind unto ourselves today,
The stillness of the forest,
The light seeking of the wood sorrel,
The brightness of the sorrel flowers,
The beauty of the unfurling ferns,
The lushness of the valley,
The reliance of the honeysuckle,

(and so on)

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Your comments:

love it….

#1. By Sally on May 23, 2012

I’m just about to start three months study leave, and this idea of Forest Church goes with me.  Discussions with people of all walks of life suggest that we feel closest to God when we’re immersed in the green rather than the stone.  Unsurprising really!  We’re hoping to start a west midlands Forest Church later this year/early next year once I’m back into the swing of things.

#2. By Altar Ego on May 24, 2012

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