Devotions

A devotional – the Welcoming Prayer

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Light for the Way devotional series

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By Chaplain David Rothstein, Optage Hospice

The Welcoming Prayer: Divine Therapy for Emotional Upsets
For several years now, whenever my emotions get triggered, I have tried to manage them in a prayerful way, using a method called the Welcoming Prayer. Developed by Mary Mrozowski, this form of prayer is like Divine Therapy for the soul. Mary wanted a way to help her retain the peace she felt in her prayer and meditation, especially during the day when events triggered her emotions.

How it works is to employ the practical wisdom of accepting emotions rather than rejecting, running from or ignoring what I feel. Like the Dr. Seuss story What Was I Scared Of? in which a boy is followed around by an empty pair of green pants, the boy runs scared until finally he confronts and embraces them, realizing there was nothing to fear.

In any upsetting situation, I can welcome the emotions I feel by first recognizing them, which starts to defuse the tension. Let’s say a conversation creates disagreement. I feel anger rising in me and a desire to control the outcome. I see what is happening in me and respond:

“Welcome anger, welcome ‘wanting to control.’ Here you are again. I welcome you into my house, indeed you are a part of me. You want to help me, to keep me or others from being hurt. Welcome and please sit down now. I release your hold on me and I will trust my Inner Light instead. I trust in God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit to guide me.”

Of course, over time this prayer can be done quickly and intuitively in the moment of upset. By accepting my emotions, I don’t fight them and don’t react, which allows a brief space for the Holy Spirit to come in and lead me. The combination of inner acceptance of what I feel plus a surrender to God’s guidance is the Divine Therapy, allowing for healing and a calmer reassessment of each situation. Then I can act, if needed, based on Divine guidance rather than raw emotions.

With time and practice, the Welcoming Prayer can be healing and transforming, leading to deeper trust in God at work in me. To read more about it, click here.

David Rothstein has been a chaplain with Optage Hospice since 2012.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

Love one another
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

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