A PRAYER OF THE SENSES
Preparation for facilitator
This prayer time can be held as an outdoor picnic or as an indoor supper.
Read the handout information to create the shopping list. The foods chosen are Middle Eastern so that they are typical of Biblical food. The meaning associated with many of the foods is in brackets in the handout/brochure section.
Present each platter well and have soft music playing as the meal and prayer occurs. Have suitable serving dishes and equipment (for example, small cups for the grape juice, pop sticks or plastic spoons for the honey) so people can hygienically partake of the foods presented.
Allow for freedom of movement so that people can come and go from the food as well as being able to share together in prayer.
Prepare handouts or brochures using the information below and have one available for each person in attendance.
Instructions for participants
Today, you are invited to worship God using all of your senses, and especially your sense of taste as you “taste” some of God’s blessings through food and Scripture.
Prayerfully enter into this picnic experience. Become aware of the Scriptural connection with the food, and consider its personal ramifications.
It may also be appropriate for you to share in prayer with another person.
Come and taste the goodness of God.
“O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone!” (Psalm 31:19 NRSV)
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat the bread and drink of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27, 28 NRSV)
As you eat the bread and drink the juice, spend some time in personal examination. What is God pointing out to you?
Honey symbolizes all that is pleasant and desirable.
“The ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:9b-10 NRSV)
Think about your relationship with the Word of the Lord. Are you finding the words of Scripture sweet or bitter to taste?
Pomegranate juice is symbolic of righteousness.
“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NRSV)
What wonderful results are you experiencing or do you expect from your prayers?
Dates (symbolic of life, abundance and endurance). Figs (Israel, Scripture), Apple (love), Raisins (sweetness), Almonds (watchfulness and promise)
“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me...” (Philippians 1:21-22a NRSV)
Think about the phrase “fruitful labour”
What kinds of service are you offering to God? What fruit is being produced by it?
“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” (Psalm 126:5 NRSV)
Onions bring tears. What is done in service for Jesus may be difficult and quite challenging; it may produce real tears. What is your current situation? Can you visualize positive outcomes?
“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God.” (Psalm 52:8a NIV)
What is the relationship between ‘you’, ‘flourishing’ and ‘house of God’?
With cucumber (symbolic of preservation of life) and olives (peace and healing)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.” (Colossians 3:16 NRSV)
The richness of this platter can’t compare with the richness that Jesus offers. In what ways does God invite you to share the richness he brings with others?