THE CONCEPT

WHAT IS
a WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER?

It is a retreat in the midst of daily life.

The focus is attention to God's activity
in one's life through prayer.
The underlying premise is
that one of the ways God is interested
in communicating with us
is through prayer.

Rather than drawing apart
from our normal agenda,
a WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER helps us
to centre on God
in the midst of our regular activities.

Evelyn Underhill writes:
"It is not easy under every day schedules
to learn and maintain the act
of steadfast attention to God;
yet no art could more closely
serve God's purpose than this."

A WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER
is an affirmation of our intention to pray.
It is the discipline of prayer
within our daily life.

HOW DOES
a WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER
PROCEED?

The opening two-hour session
is usually held on a Sunday afternoon.
It provides an opportunity for fellowship
between Retreatants and those
who will Companion them
through the week.
It introduces the theme
and an experience of praying scripture
with journaling.

The Retreatant and Companion together
establish a schedule of daily meetings
of one-half hour in length.
The Retreatant is given the first sheet
of daily scripture material for prayer
based upon the theme
which unfolds during the week.

Monday to Friday
the Retreatants covenant
to pray 30 minutes privately each day
and to meet with the Companion
30 minutes daily
to be guided in prayer experience.
The Companion supports the Retreatant
by seeking to keep him or her
attentive to God's leading
and guiding the Retreatant
through questions, suggestions
and shared experience.

The closing two-hour session
usually held on Saturday morning
is a celebration of how and where
God has touched us through the week.
It offers time for silent reflection,
large and small group sharing,
and an evaluation of the week's process.
Ongoing opportunities for prayer support
are reviewed.
Retreatants are commissioned,
through a communion celebration,
to continue the journey.

Having a labyrinth available
offers participants
and congregation members
another opportunity
for a meaningful prayer experience.

HOW IS 
a WEEK OF GUIDED PRAYER
ORGANIZED?

A Planning Committee of about five persons
prepares publicity,
encourages and receives registrations
and arranges locations for various meetings.
It encourages congregational participation
in praying for Retreatants
and in maintaining quietness
throughout the building during the week.

The Planning Committee
establishes a budget
for materials, honoraria,
training Companions,
advertising and use of a labyrinth.
A typical budget for the week
would be approximately $350 to $500.
These costs are often covered
by the registration fee
of about $20.00 per Retreatant.

Two Coordinators oversee the week
and provide support for the Companions.

Companions and Coordinators
meet daily to share in a fellowship meal,
reflect upon the experience of the week
and pray together.

The Coordinators meet daily
with the Companions and each other
to offer support in their spiritual journey.
The Companions guide the Retreatants
in being attentive to God during the retreat.

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