July Practice: Lifting Someone into God´s Presence

Practice | democracy, enemy, prayer

July 01, 2018

Hands facing upward against black background

Photo: Cristian Newman via Unsplash

We believe that democracy as a way of life can be strengthened and deepened through spiritual practices—both those traditionally considered to be "inner work" and those that require active engagement with our neighbors and communities. In partnership with our friends at Spirituality & Practice, we are sharing monthly practices to help us all “practice democracy” from the inside out.

This spiritual practice comes from Jane Vennard in Embracing the World: Praying for Justice and Peace.

Wordless prayers are a way to pray for your enemies. You can simply lift the person or the people up to God. To do this, imagine you are holding in your hands the one with whom you are out of step. Using your body, raise your arms and hands as high as you can reach, as if you were lifting the person into the presence of God. Hold him or her there for a moment, then open your hands and let the person go into God's loving care. As you allow your hands to return to your sides, feel the experience of release. When resentment, bitterness, and anger return, you can pray this prayer again—holding, lifting, and releasing—until your heart softens and your prayers are transformed.

Visit Spirituality & Practice's PracticingDemocracy.net for more practices and a wide array of resources.