So, prayer projects.

This school is perhaps unique in its approach to assignments, in the world of academia. They are convinced that the information and processes they are pouring into us - via lectures, readings, interaction – needs to be taken into our core. That the course content needs to not only inform us, but that we need to take it to a place where it can transform us – to a place of intentional “spiritual formation”, if you will.

So, in addition to the eight books and dozen academic articles assigned for the semester, there seem to be mainly only these “prayer project” assignments, for both classes I’m taking.

Making my way through these have been by turns enlightening, lonely, disheartening, sweet, connecting, sobering, exposing, vulnerable, hard, achy, and beautiful. The idea is to sit for an hour, with specific questions related to the course content as the guide for our prayer time.

Here is a fairly typical example of a set of questions to pray through:

*First 20 minutes, ask my soul/God: “To what degree has my character been shaped so that I’m glad about it and/or optimistic about transformation? Or to what degree has my character been shaped so that I have a lot of regrets, that I’m not so happy about it, not so optimistic? What is my character? What is my habituated spirit? What have I become (what capacities have been developed)? How would I talk about me, and am I happy about that?
*Second 20 minutes, ask: “Soul, God, to what degree has my life really been ‘sown to the flesh’/my own power?”
*Third 20 minutes: “To what degree has my life been ‘sown to the spirit’? and how do I know that? That it wasn’t just me? What would it look like/does it look like to sow to the spirit (versus my own autonomy)?”

...

i mean… right?!

Do you see now why I feel both terrified and so lucky to be in this program? Going to school for the express purposes of knowing myself and God better? That is amazing.

Also: not easy.

{{Try it, if you dare...!}}

It’s hard to look at the truest things about ourselves. To face the unhealthy parts of my soul head-on, and to truly acknowledge the good and beautiful in me as just that.

I am currently halfway through this week's prayer project. i had to pause midway because of all that was coming up for me. There were a number of questions, but get this one: "God, what grade should i get in this class?", combined with "What is the meaning of grades, and what is the correlating amount of time that would need to be spent to receive that grade?"

What.

I may have been avoiding this prayer project all week; and instead of doing it, texting friends about how i was avoiding doing it. Because throughout my life, i have always done exactly how much work i need to do in order to get an A. No more, no less. And something in me is terrified to even consider another way. I'm still trying to process what i feel like I'd be losing if i let that go.

The point of it, of course, is that we have the chance to come at this class (/anything in life) in freedom, receiving what it has to offer as a gift, OR continue the past patterns of ways that we "did school (and/or life)" in kind of a habitual knee-jerk way.

I don't know about you, but to me it's worth the freedom to stop and consider, and open to God about my patterns and the possibilities of a better way. 

**goes to finish project**

                                      joining with The Nester and her #write31days crew for the month of October

                                      joining with The Nester and her #write31days crew for the month of October

Posted
AuthorJamie Bonilla