Community of Christ

Holding in the Light

Spiritual Practice - Holding in the Light

Holding in the Light is a form of communal intercessory prayer adapted from the Quaker movement. It is a way of praying for others using silence and imaging. 

The Practice

Gather in a circle. You may want to place one or more candles in the center.

Invite people into a period of intercessory prayer in which specific people and needs are placed in God’s loving, healing care.

Spend a few moments centering on God’s presence and the group’s intention of praying for others. This may be done by reading the scripture reflections, offering a verbal prayer, or using silence and breath prayer to become quiet inside and out.

Enter a period of silent prayer on behalf of those individuals and concerns the group desires to lift up. The whole group may choose to focus on one particular person or concern or group members can make individual choices about the focus of their prayers. The names of those being prayed for can be made known or kept private.

A central element of this form of intercessory prayer is to see or sense the person prayed for being surrounded by and held in God’s light. Ask those praying to focus on this image or awareness as they engage in silent prayer.

Encourage the “pray-ers” to trust God to know the needs of those being prayed for without a lot of words or explanations. Compassionately holding the image of our loved one being held and healed by God’s light becomes the focus of the prayer.

Short prayer phrases can be used to keep attention focused on God as the Source of all healing and blessing.

Continue in silent intercession for ten to fifteen minutes.

Offer a brief prayer of thanks to close your prayer experience.

This prayer practice can be done in private anytime one wishes to hold a particular person or need up to God. It can be done in scattered locations by a group of people wanting to join in prayerful solidarity for a loved one. The group may want to set a specific time when they will participate in prayer by “holding in the light” the one for whom they seek God’s blessing. 

Scriptures for Reflections

Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. —Ephesians 5:8, 9 NRSV
If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays. —Luke 11:36 NRSV

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. —1 John 1:5 NRSV

And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. —Doctrine and Covenants 85:18a

Additional Resources  

Prayer and the Five Stages of Healing by Ron Roth with Peter Occhiogrosso

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard J. Foster

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