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The Welcoming Prayer

Background

Welcoming Prayer is a contemplative prayer method, developed by Mary Mrozowski, of actively encountering, experiencing, and letting go of thoughts, feelings or behaviors, so that our truest self may emerge in the midst of messy, ordinary moments. Welcoming prayer invites God into our everyday situations and relationships with all their busyness, triggers, muscle tension, and heart break. It is a practice that allows us to become attentive to what God is doing in the present circumstance.

Welcoming Prayer addresses three of our most basic desires. The desire for affection and love, security and safety, and a sense of agency or power (control.) Without love and affection, we fail to thrive. Without security, we fall into fight, freeze, or flight. Without control we live someone else's reality. When these three desires are not met we fall out of freedom and into the false self pattern and trap of triggers, reactions, and compulsive habits. Welcoming prayer lands us right in the middle of our hot mess with God so that our emotional wounds can be healed and our true selves, operating in the Spirit of God, can respond in a way that allows his kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

This prayer, by releasing and accepting, is a small death expressed in four movements. In this moment we say, Welcome God

  • I let go of my desire for security and safety.

  • I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, and approval.

  • I let go of my desire for power and control.

  • I let go of my desire to change reality and receive it as it is.

 

When you have an experience that triggers you, take time to do the following.

The Practice

  1. Take a few deep breaths, become still and silent. Be open to the presence of God with you.

  2. Begin by being present to the feeling, thought, or behavior. Experience it fully, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Don’t try to rationalize or explain it. Simply welcome it, by speaking aloud, if you can: “Welcome, (anger, fear, longing, etc.) I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment because I know it is for my healing. I welcome all thoughts, feelings, behaviors, persons, situations and conditions. ” Repeat this as many times as you need to truly sense yourself receiving and embracing the feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

  3. Once you sense you no longer need to hold on to this feeling, let go of the feeling by speaking aloud, if you can: “I let go of (anger, fear, longing, etc.) I let go of my desire for security and survival. I let go of my desire for approval, esteem and affection. I let go of my desire for power and control. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

  4. I open to You God and the healing action and grace within. I trust I am exactly where I need to be. Everything around me includes and hides the sacred. I welcome everything so that Your Love and Your Spirit may be expressed in all of my life; the motives and desires of my heart, the choices I make and the steps I take.”

  5. Remain still until you sense you are truly present and have let go of all that you need to.

A Video Practice 

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