Basic Guidance for Adult Spiritual Formation

By Suzanne Broussard

Places of prayer are simple and quiet — just enough space to breathe, rest, and meditate.
Jane Mossendew, "Gardening with God"
(link to blog)

Prayer Time with Scripture — Ignatian Prayer Period (Individual Prayer)

  1. I place myself in the presence of the Lord, giving thanks for all the good things God gives me.
    This first step is meant to help the person praying to “settle into” a moment with God. Ignatius proposes that we may want to ask the question “Lord, how do you see me today?” This prevents a form of “spiritual autism” where the prayer only listens to themselves throughout the prayer period.
  2. I ask for the light of God’s Spirit, to show me my heart.
    Ignatian spirituality works on the assumption that God puts good desires deep in the heart of each person…..the difficulty is to separate good from false desires in moments of discernment. This grace is generally something that will draw the person closer to God. It is often correlated to the Scripture passage chosen for the prayer period.
  3. I carefully and slowly read through the biblical text.
    Most people cannot enter into prayer with scripture “cold”. They need to read the passage several times until it is practically memorized, or at least until they have the essential details in mind.
  4. I respond to what the Lord is saying to me in Scripture.
    “Response” includes noticing what happens to me as I pray with the text. Articulating my feelings, and dialoguing with God about this, asking for forgiveness, or rejoicing in his mercy and closeness.
  5. I decide to do one thing to mindfully acknowledge the Lord’s presence in my prayer time.
    Closing prayer: ‘Our Father’ or even one invented by the prayer gives the prayer period structure.

Prayer Time with Scripture --- Ignatian Prayer Period (Group Prayer)

  1. Lord we enter into your presence, giving thanks for all the good things you give me
  2. Lord Jesus, send the light of God’s Spirit, to show us our heart as we listen to your Scripture.
  3. (Carefully read a few lines of Scripture, pause , read again, pause, read again) Reading the same passage over and over allows listeners to identify the most important words or images in the text.
  4. We respond to what the Lord is saying to me in Scripture today, for example, asking for forgiveness, or rejoicing in his mercy and closeness, if appropriate.
  5. Lord, what one thing are you asking of each of us this day.

Adapted by Dr Renata Furst, Ignatian Guide and Retreat Leader, Oblate School of Theology

Bible Readings: What we must do to achieve the goal

‘"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’"
"Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Reflection Questions

How is my prayer life (love of God)?
How are my relationships (love of others)?


For more information, contact Suzanne Broussard at 830-832-3714 or gardenershouse@yahoo.com