Prayer Ministry

Simone Weil prayer quote
What is prayer for you? Does it have a place in your life? Or is it your life? What does it mean to "pray without ceasing," as Paul encourages the Thessalonian church?

There are as many ways to pray as there are human beings. Prayer may comprise words and silence and actions and music and art. Prayer is not one-sided, but rather an openness to two-way communication with God. In prayer we present our true selves before God, and we also pay attention for God’s voice and presence in our lives.

The Saint John's Bible and Labyrinth Walk Event
Saint John's Bible

On Saturday, January 17, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., all are invited to a special day featuring several opportunities for prayer, reflection, learning and fellowship that are being offered in connection with this extraordinary exhibit. The Prayer Ministry will host an area for Centering Prayer, and also offer the return of a labyrinth for people to walk. The Way Station will be open for families to enjoy. A soup lunch will be served and Anathea Portier-Young, an associate professor from Duke Divinity, will speak, with a Q&A to follow. Click here to register for the event or to volunteer.

Seventeen reproduction prints of artwork from the Saint John's Bible will be on display in Geneva Hall from January 16 through February 11, 2015.

Exhibit Hours
January 18;
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, January 21, January 28, February 4, February 11;
3:00-5:00 p.m. and 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, January 22, January 29, February 5; 10:00 a.m.-noon
Sunday, January 25; 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Sundays, February 1, February 8; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Complete list of 17 prints that will be on display
Creation, Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Jacob’s Ladder, Ten Commandments, Pentecost (Acts 1), Psalms Book II Frontispiece, Psalms Book V Frontispiece, Frontispiece from the Gospel of Matthew, Frontispiece from the Gospel of Mark, Frontispiece from the Gospel of Luke, Frontispiece from the Gospel of John, Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly from the Ending of the Gospel of Mark, Sower and the Seed (Mark 3, 4), Life in Community (Acts 5, 6), Life of Paul (Acts 15), I am Statements (John 6). Portier-Young
Anathea Portier-Young’s scholarship combines literary, sociological, and theological approaches to the Old Testament with an interest in hermeneutics, history of interpretation, and ethics. She specializes in late second temple Jewish literature, with special attention to early Jewish apocalypses, testaments, and novellas from the third through first centuries BCE. Her book, Apocalypse Against Empire Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism, views the first Jewish apocalypses as responses to imperial domination and hegemony. Her second book, The Theology of the Book of Daniel, will appear in the series Old Testament Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Portier-Young has published scholarly articles on Daniel, Tobit, Joseph and Aseneth, and 1 Corinthians. She writes regularly for the website Her other research interests include the book of Genesis and its interpretation, constructions of identity, gender, and ethnicity, and traditions of violence and nonviolence in Old Testament and other early Jewish literature. Walk

Come and experience the ancient spiritual practice of walking a labyrinth during the weekend of January 16-18, 2015. Hosts from WMPC’s Prayer Ministry will be present to provide guidance to you, if you wish, before you begin to walk.

You may walk the labyrinth while you are here for the other special events. The labyrinth will be available at the following times:

Saturday, January 17, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Friday, January 16, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 18, from 8:00 am until 7:00 p.m.

Centering Prayer
Do you yearn to feel more connected to God, more open to God's movement in your life? Centering Prayer offers one faithful way of doing that. It is a practice of stillness and silent prayer that invites us into closer relationship with God. Click here to learn the basics.

Our Centering Prayer gatherings are on first and third Tuesday evenings, 6:00-6:45 p.m. in W400 (top floor of Witherspoon building), plus any fifth Tuesday on the calendar. We'll have a short intro, practice Centering Prayer together, then reflect a bit about the experience. All are welcome - come join us if you can!

You may also find the following resources from our church library useful, whether you are new to Centering Prayer or a seasoned practitioner:

Open Mind, Open Heart : The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel by Keating, Thomas. - (248.34 Kea)
Psalms for Praying : An Invitation to Wholeness by Merrill, Nan C. - (223 Mer)
Soul Feast : An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Thompson, Marjorie J. - (248 Tho)
Fr. Thomas Keating on Centering Prayer (Video 291.4 Kea)

WMPC Prayer Ministry also sponsors:
  • A Prayer Network of people committed to bringing before God the gratitude and needs of our community and beyond. If you have anything you would like lifted in prayer or would like to join the Prayer Network, please send an email request to Lisa Hebacker.
  • Seasonal Services for Wholeness and Healing incorporating music, prayer, and silence. These services are sometimes created in partnership with other ministries (Stephen Ministry, Music and Worship, Youth, etc.). We offer these Wholeness and Healing services a few times a year, often during the seasons of Advent, midwinter, and Lent. Everyone is welcome.
  • One-day Contemplative Retreats at the restful Avila Retreat Center in Durham, NC. Put the demands of your life on hold for one quiet day of rest and refreshment. For more information on the next retreat day, please contact Prayer Ministry Chair Melinda Fox.