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The More of God Retreat will explore biblical images of God while assisting those whose prayer life is being constrained and inhibited by unhealthy images of God. The unhelpful images of God that people consciously and unconsciously carry radically affect the way they relate to God and each other. Through teaching, reflection, and experiential prayer practices, the three-day retreat aims to assist people on a journey toward a healthier image of God with a renewed, vibrant, and deeply personal prayer life.
The retreat is designed around the exploration of three images of God found in Luke 15:1-31: God as Shepherd, God as Woman/Mother, and God as Father. Reflection spaces of morning and evening prayers will begin and end each day. During morning prayer, (Psalms 23, 131, and 63) participants will interact with Scripture in the practice oflectio divina. Nightly evening prayer will consist of a guided practice through an Ignatian Examen prayer. Both lectio divina and the Examen prayer will be introduced and practiced the first evening of the three-day retreat.
Spiritual prayer practices such as the Jesus Prayer/Breath Prayer, Intercessory Prayer, Praying with molding Clay, and Prayer with Photos/Visio Divina will be offered as places to interact with God during the group gatherings. These gatherings are the spaces to respond to the images of God that are being exploring. Toward the end of the retreat, a seventeen-hour Grand Silence will be observed. Throughout the retreat, participants will be discerning what images of God and which prayer practices may be specifically helpful for each participant. The retreat will conclude by inviting participants to discern if God may be guiding them into any specific prayer practice as they return home.
Doctor of Ministry
Images of God, Prayer, Retreat, Examen Prayer, Breath Prayer, Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, Silence, Solitude, Shepherd, Mother/Woman, Father
Biblical Studies | Christianity | Practical Theology
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Matheny, Art T., "More of God Retreat: Exploring Biblical Images of God through Prayer" (2019). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 377.