Bp. Scanlan on Prayers

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The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, reflects on different forms of prayer that she practices day by day:

  • There is a soaking or bathing prayer in which I take my prayer list into an intentional time of meditation and intercession, offering to God the needs and concerns of those for whom I [am] praying. I do this every morning as I begin my day. It is a gently lifting up of people and situations without pleading, demands or bargaining—just a careful and loving raising to God the tender lives of those in need. I have a candle that I light each morning as a way to begin this gentle ritual.
  • There is a “carrying” prayer in which I carry the image, name, situation around with me all day and use quiet moments, the pauses in my day, to remember the person with loving kindness and invite God to bring healing and wholeness. And sometimes, I will set my phone timer to chime each hour to remember someone, or set a specific time on my clock—a surgery time, beginning of an exam, etc.—to remind me of the beginning of a significant event that I’ve promised to hold in prayer. One time, years ago, when a friend was working towards sobriety, I pledged to set my alarm every half hour, to pray with him through the course of the day that he would make it, sober, from one thirty-minute segment to the next.

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