Welcoming Prayer

Background & Introduction

Welcoming prayer addresses three core human needs:
affection and love,
security and wellbeing,
a sense of control and agency.

In particular circumstances or stressful situations we can find ourselves over attached to these core needs. In the process we can loose sight of the bigger picture, forget our awareness of God, freedom evaporates and we react with our preferred (or habitual) survival methods, tightening our grasp on our desire for one (or more) of those core needs.

This prayer provides us with the opportunity to detach from our need to be secure, liked and in control, and allow ourselves to be attached to the presence and action of Jesus instead.

As part of the prayer we draw our attention to our emotions and our body and noticing how the signs they provide help reveal and express what is bubbling under the surface of our conscious mind. These signs could include: the heart racing, jaws clenching, tightness in the shoulders, a sense of anxiety, or overwhelming thoughts (experienced in our head). We then welcome Jesus into that place and the need it expresses.

Engaging in the prayer

Becoming Aware

Allow yourself to be still. Siting comfortably and relaxing your breathing. Gently become aware of Gods presence with you.

I welcome you Jesus into this present moment.

Help me to name the thoughts which have dominated my mind

… (pause as you give yourself time to name the dominant patterns of thought)

Help me to become aware of my emotions at this time

… (pause as you give yourself time to become aware of what you are feeling)

Help me notice tensions, tightness and numbness in my body.

… (pause as you give yourself time to notice the state of your body)

Acknowledging and welcoming

I acknowledge these thoughts, feelings, and body sensations … (e.g. anxious, sad, tension in my shoulders), as present within me. With an attitude of hospitality, I name these things I’m experiencing to you Jesus, and I welcome you into these parts of me.

Welcome Jesus, welcome.

… (pause)

Letting Go

I let go of my need to secure my well-being in this situation, rather I trust you to provide

Welcome Jesus, welcome.

I let go of my need of love and affection from… (insert name)  in this situation, rather I receive your love, affection and affirmation.

Welcome Jesus, welcome.

I let go of my need to control and have primary influence on this situation (and people and groups in it), rather, I pray, may your will be done.

Welcome Jesus, welcome.

We confess we have sought all sorts of comforts, control, affection, affirmation and security on our own terms. Help us Jesus to not grasp, but live: graceful and trusting.

Welcome Jesus, welcome.

End the prayer by gently resting in the Presence of Jesus.

. . .

There are various variations on this prayer, this particular text has been written by Jonny Norridge, based on the work of Mary Mrozowski, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun and Annemarie Altena-van Pijkeren 

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