Forward Friday: 4 Ways to Pray (Naked)

In keeping with tradition, we’re wrapping up this week’s theme on praying naked with four suggestions. Choose the one that best fits, and come back to share your experience.

1) Pray in the bathtub (centering prayer): As you remove each article of clothing, remove along with it some distracting thought.  Allow the water surrounding you to remind you of the movement of the Holy Spirit within you.  Don’t be discouraged by distracting thoughts, but allow your nakedness to remind you of your purpose, and continue to set distractions aside.  Once you are centered (this can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, so don’t rush yourself), allow God to speak to you.  This might take the form of a recurring distracting thought, an old emotional wound, a nagging memory of an unreconciled relationship, a line of music or verse of scripture, or anything else. Whatever emerges, take it to God and experience God’s love, healing, forgiveness, acceptance, and renewal.

2) Pray in your room (intercessory prayer): As you undress, be aware of the vulnerability of your naked body.  Allow that vulnerability to guide your conversation with God.  As you become more comfortable with your nakedness–alone in your room–allow yourself to experience compassion for those whose vulnerability is taken advantage of.  If that is not a natural experience for you, read Stacey’s post as an example, and ask God to open your eyes not only to your own needs but also to the needs of others.

3) Pray semi-covered (inner healing prayer): For those of you who have experienced trauma and may be triggered by the vulnerability of your nakedness, try undressing and then covering yourself with a towel, robe, or blanket.  Allow the covering to be an intentional reminder of God’s protection over you.  Read Gen 2:25, slowly, aloud, once every five minutes for 30 minutes.  Between readings, sit quietly and allow God’s truth about your body to take root.  As any shameful memories arise, offer them to God.  Ask God to enter those memories with you and show you the truth about yourself.  If you’re feeling too vulnerable at any point, try putting some of your clothes back on, one article at a time.  Allow the act of getting dressed to be an intentional reminder of God’s protection over you.

4) Sleep naked (resting prayer aka letting-God-do-all-the-work): For those of you who find the whole conversation about praying naked to be uncomfortable or ridiculous (or if the above suggestions just aren’t for you), try simply sleeping naked tonight.  Again, as you undress, be mindful that you are uncovering yourself before God.  Ask God to enter your experience and show you something new.  (If you sleep with a partner, be sure to warn him or her that you are sleeping naked tonight as a spiritual exercise, not as an invitation to sexy time. This is your chance to experience your sexuality within yourself and with God.  Have sexy time tomorrow night.)

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About Laura K. Cavanaugh

I'm a writer, spiritual director, and advocate of holistic body theology.

Posted on March 9, 2012, in Body Image, Forward Friday, Physicality, Sexuality, Spiritual Practices, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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