Circles of Prayer: Deepening Relationship with God
If you yearn for times of shared contemplation and an opportunity to deepen your relationship with God, please consider joining – or forming – a Circle of Prayer. This informal way of joining with others in communal contemplation and prayer was initiated by Adrian Dominican Sister Marilyn Barnett, OP, in response to the hunger for a “meaningful relationship with God” that she has found in so many people with whom she has ministered.
The structure of the Circles of Prayer is simple: a group of six to 10 people gather every month to pray together for an hour. The hour can begin with silence, music to quiet the group, and a simple setting – such as a table with a cloth and a candle – to enhance the prayerful atmosphere. Scripture, a poem, other inspirational writing, or art can be used for reflection, followed by a lengthy period of silence. Participants then have the opportunity to share their reflections if they desire. This is followed by a second time of silence to allow participants to hold what they have heard in reverence.
The purpose is simply to develop one’s personal relationship with God through deep, contemplative consciousness and to strengthen this relationship with those with whom you are praying, according to Sister Marilyn. The Circles of Prayer are not designed to be Bible studies, catechetical instructions, or social times; they are typically held in private homes.
Circles of Prayer are currently being formed in the Michigan cities of Adrian, Ann Arbor, Brighton, Davisburg, Davison, Fenton, Grand Blanc, Jackson, Owosso, Pinckney, Swartz Creek, and Ypsilanti and in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
If you would like to join one of these Circles of Prayer or a packet of information to help you form your own, please contact Sister Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.