Nature and all of life leads us to God, and also to God’s activity. His creation is ongoing. Jesus used the world around Him to reveal the Father. He often taught from everyday events. He invited the disciples to experience His love and care for them as He invited them to consider the birds...consider the lilies...consider the grassy fields...consider the vine and the branches. Taking time to see what is before us, and what God might be saying to us in and through that, is often referred to as the Prayer of Consideration.
Episcopal Priest and crisis chaplain Laurie M. Brock invites us to see more deeply into horses and what they can reveal about God and ourselves. Woven with collects and fragments from the
Book of Common Prayer, her book Horses Speak of God helps us to grow in awareness, curiosity, and enjoyment of gifts at the intersection of God’s created animals with life.
Rev. Brock notes that being with horses is healing. They help us settle into the present moment, awaken our own disordered tendencies, our vocations, our pain, our blame, our grief, our boundaries, and also help us experience insights into our relationship with God.
As with riding a horse, it’s not always easy to follow the movements of a living faith. But when we pay attention to the movements of God, when we are aware and listening, we move with God, we grow with God, and we change more and more into the people God has called us to be. -- Laurie Brock
God comes to us in the ordinary moments of our lives. Being with horses can be an embodied way of experiencing God. Horses, all of creation, and the real of our lives preach sermons and help us to experience God if we take time to be fully present and listen.
I did not expect to learn a language that spoke of God. But Izzy’s words helped me understand the moment of walking forward in faith and life, knowing that control is tentative and faltering, but that living and riding with any sort of existence means we walk right up to the verge and let our feet go beyond the threshold of comfort into the unknown. We cede our illusion of full control and are present to that moment. -- Laurie Brock
We can take the Prayer of Consideration and apply it to anything in our lives. Jesus taught from the familiar. Our God is a God who takes the initiative, and He is at work in all things -- in the real of our lives. Are we paying attention?
Prayer of Consideration
We are using horses as the text of our prayer. Not all of us have access to horses,
but we all have real things in our lives we can use as the text of our prayer:
nature, pets, memories, images, situations, feelings, relationships, etc.
Be free to pray from anything in the real of your life -- this example uses horses.
Pause and consider what is before you.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now...” Matthew 6:34 MSG
Consider the horses.
Spend some time looking, listening, smelling, touching, deeply, prayerfully. Perhaps, even moving with.
Notice what comes up in you. Pay attention to what you are feeling and experiencing. Where are you feeling that in your body?
Ask God to help you find God in this experience.
What might God be inviting you to know, feel, see, remember, connect, process?
How do you experience God in/through this ?
How do horses help you to get to know God better?
With what intention do you desire to carry this awareness with you?
Journal about your experience.
For a download of the Prayer of Consideration:
Soul Care Sanctuary, in partnership with horse friends, is hosting an in-person book discussion and experience of Horses Speak of God on Saturday, November 20 in a local barn. Rev. Laurie Brock will join us via zoom to share more about her book. We will be present to our horse hosts and what they have to teach us, guided by an experienced horse owner and a spiritual director. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a horse charity.
There is a wait list for reservations for the November 20 experience. We hope to have another in-person horse experience this March. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of your interest for the November or March horse experience.