Prayer Labyrinths are designed to help us slow down in our prayers and practice attentiveness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we journey closer to the heart of God.
 
Typically, the movement of a labyrinth takes place in three parts: a journey inward to the heart of God, a lingering to spend time listening in the centre, and a return journey of renewed intention back into our daily rhythms.
 
If you’re new to praying a labyrinth, we’ve included a few ideas to get you started below. Regardless of how you choose to engage this practice, we hope that you find your time filled with rich moments.
 
A Few Notes on Using the Labyrinth:
  • If the physical path is already in use by someone else, we ask that you wait patiently for them to finish before entering to ensure that we are maintaining physical distancing and not causing stress or distraction for one another.
  • Finger labyrinths are available here should you prefer to do this exercise at home. Trace the path slowly with the index finger of your non-dominant hand as a way of slowing your thoughts down to focus and listen in prayer
 
WAYS OF PRAYING THE LABYRINTH
Breath Prayer
A breath prayer is simply a two-part prayer held in rhythm with our breathing. Typically they remind us of a truth about God, and then invite us to speak a longing or desire back to God. They can be really helpful in keeping our minds focused on being present with God. You’ll find some suggestions below:
 
As you breathe in, consider the first line of your prayer; as you breathe out, consider the corresponding piece and what invitation God has for you. You might consider switching your prayer for the return journey.
(breathing in) Thank you for loving my neighbours.
(breathing out) Teach me to love them too.
 
(breathing in) Have mercy on us

(breathing out) And grant us peace.

(breathing in) God of love,
(breathing out) be found in me.
 
(breathing in) Yet not my will,
(breathing out) but yours be done.
Meditate on Scripture
In this method, you might choose a small piece of Scripture to carry in with you to aid in your reflection. You might choose to enter into lament, using any portion of the last days of Jesus’s life as your guide from Luke 22&23. Or perhaps you might consider a portion of Isaiah 53 or 58. Whatever scripture you choose, try to keep it brief so you can turn it over in your head rather than having to stop and read it.
 
Ask God to draw your attention to a particular word or phrase and consider it as you move into the centre of the labyrinth. Once you’re at the centre, consider where that phrase or idea might apply to your current circumstances. When you’re ready, move back out of the labyrinth reflecting on what God’s invitation to you might be in that circumstance.
 
Visualization
If you tend to pray more in images, you might consider visualizing yourself laying your burdens down along the path as you journey toward the centre. Rest awhile once you’re in the centre and ask God for the wisdom and strength to know what to pick up again with God’s help.

 

Alternatively, you might reflect on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) noting first where you’ve experienced love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, or self-control in your life. As you return, you might consider how God might be equipping you and inviting you to extend those qualities to others. 
 
Conversation
You may want to just spend your time talking with God as a more naturally flowing conversation. Feel free to use your time to ask questions or express how you’re feeling about Holy Week this year, or your faith in more general terms. You might choose to lament, or to express gratitude or praise.
 
No matter where your conversation leads, remember to take space to listen for God’s response, peace, and invitation for you – the natural breaks at the centre and the return journey might help you to remember to slow down and listen.
 
ADDITIONAL PRAYERS
Lord God,
whether we have rushed or taken our time
in coming here,
we have come ill-prepared.
You have invited us to meet with you;
You have created space for time together
that will affect the other moments of the week.
You have called us to take time
to recall your love and mercy.
Yet we come heedlessly with lists in our minds
of the things we want you to sort out:
of feelings and emotions that we want to gain
and which will last us
without too much effort.
We have not prepared ourselves to worship
 
Stop us now, and help us,
as we wonder at the scope of your love.
 
You care for each of us
as if you care for each one alone. 
Help us face you today,
to receive what you want to give
and wonder at your love.
Amen.
Lord God,
 
Where we have failed to love,
and have loved to hurt:
Forgive us and heal us.
 
Where we have scorned difference
and have been indifferent to those in need:
Forgive us and heal us.
 
Where we have spoken harsh words to others
and have been quick to take offence ourselves:
Forgive us and heal us.
 
Where we have prayed and sung about injustice,
and have ignored the injustice around us:
Forgive us and heal us.
 
Merciful God, you are true to your word. 
When we cry to you in sorrow and repentance,
You hear our cries and are swift to forgive.
For your faithful love we praise you.
 
Amen.