The next part of the discernment process is PRAYER. Simply put, I am going to spend intentional time talking to God about each of the four options.
For this kind of prayer time, I try and find a quiet space with little distraction. I will begin with some breathing exercises, centering prayers and silence.
When comfortable, I will begin to visualize a place where I feel happy, safe, fulfilled. I try to visualize this space as vividly as possible. For me, this space is almost always one of a few places: Dutcher’s Dock in Menemsha, MA; Lucy Vincent Beach at 5AM in Chilmark, MA, or the Boathouse Dock at Saranac Village, Saranac Lake NY. But it could be anywhere.
When I have that picture in my mind, I then invite Jesus to be with me. I visualize where Jesus is in the picture… is he sitting next to me, holding me, dangling his feet in the water while laughing… again, I try and be as detailed and vivid as possible.
Then I simply tell Jesus what I want to do in our time together. In this case, I would say something like “I want to figure out the best option… I need your wisdom and input.”
After that, I will pray simply for purity of heart — if I need to confess anything I will, and I ask that indeed I would truly want what Jesus wants.
Finally, I will take one of the options and start to talk to Jesus about that option. I will talk about all the positives and exciting things about that option — and also any concerns or fears or worries I have. But mostly, I will talk to him about the positive things… remember, all these options are good ones.
As I share with Jesus, I will be conscious of my own feelings — consolation or desolation, energy or tiredness, excitement or boredom. Later, I will write down all that I shared with Jesus, how I felt, etc — this journal will help me process later.
At the end of the time I will thank Jesus and tell him that I will be back. I may go through this process for each option for several days before moving on to the next option… and I will tackle one option at a time.
Hopefully, by the end of this process, at least one or two of the options will have kind of dropped out and one or two will have risen to the top…