Awkward Prayers – My Experiencing with “Stretch & Pray”

Therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20b

When I was on retreat in January, one of the things that I discovered was a book titled “Stretch and Pray” by Murray D. Finck. And to be honest, when I peeked at the agenda for that day and saw “Stretch and Pray” on the schedule, I thought about skipping it.

I thought about skipping it for a few reasons: 1. At this point I was getting to be very pregnant and this growing baby was not making the idea of any sort of “stretching” sound very relaxing, 2. Because of point #1 I definitely didn’t feel like embarrassing myself in front of a bunch of other pastors that I didn’t know very well, and 3. I’ve done yoga, I know about this sort of meditation stuff already and as nice as it can be sometimes, I don’t really feel the need for a review.

But against my lesser judgement, I decided to attend this portion of the retreat. And I was so glad that I did.

Yes I was a little awkward with my movements (or lack-there-of), but was invited to modify as much as I needed, and took advantage.

After a few minutes, I stopped caring about the other people in the room, recognizing that I wasn’t the only one modifying.

And although I had done yoga for years, and many of the poses we did were adapted from common yoga practices, I found myself deeply listening to the scripture verses involved. I found myself leaning into the postures, reaching to God, bowing my head, and in the end was I not only relaxed, but I had just experienced prayer in a way that was totally new to me.

And in that prayer, I got to glorify God with my body, and not in that annoying way that people dismiss tattoos or tell you to eat better, but that through my movements, through the prayers in my deep breaths, I was able to praise God with my whole self – and I’m so glad I didn’t miss that opportunity.

What are some ways you find that relaxing helps bring you closer to God? What are some different ways to pray you have tried? How might you use your body to give God glory?

Pastor Megan Filer
Pastor Megan Filer

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