Walking the Prayer Labyrinth
“My God and I go in the field together.
We walk and talk, as good friends should and do.”
The labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in various forms throughout the world. Walking the labyrinth path offers us the opportunity for prayer, meditation and time to simply be with God. On this pathway to prayer we are moving our body, which quiets the mind. It allows us to look at our faith and renew and maintain our relationship with God.
There is only one path. Follow it to the center, spend time there, and follow it back out. The path winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives… it touches our sorrows and releases our joys. You will get the most from your walk if you keep your mind and your heart open.
There are as many ways of walking the labyrinth as there are people that walk it. There is no “right” or “wrong” way. However you choose to interact with God is the right way for you and will be different each time you walk. The results of your walk will be ever-increasing and may not be fully known or understood immediately.
Prayerful Ways of Approaching Your Labyrinth Walk
- With openness – asking God, “What do you want to show me or have me know?”
- With intercessory prayer offered for someone, or a situation, or a need.
- With thanksgiving.
- With reflection about your life or a significant concern.
- With a quiet mind, releasing and letting go of daily concerns and details of your life, as an act of shedding emotions.
Stages of the Walk
- Purgation (Going in) – A releasing, a letting go of daily concerns and details of life. An act of shedding emotions, quieting and emptying the mind.
- Illumination (Being in the center) – Pause for prayer and quiet, being open to the presence of God.
- Union (Going out) – Beginning to reach outward. Listing to God as He leads you out into the world. Becoming aware of the needs of others.
Guidelines for the Walk
Clear your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. The walk is a shared activity so there may be others on the journey with you. You may pass people or let others step around you. The path is two ways, so those going in may meet others coming out. When walking the path with others, allow time for each person to set their own pace before you begin your walk. Relax and walk in the presence of God.