Updated: Dec 3, 2018
"Labyrinths are understandable in so many ways. They are symbols, spiritual tools, mathematical images, harmonic patterns, pathways to discovery, playgrounds of prayer." ― Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion
Walking a Labyrinth
Pray-ers over the centuries have benefited from walking a labyrinth as part of their prayer practice. The movement in and out of the center is a metaphor for a Christian life, that is centered around Christ, yet goes through times when it appears to be closer to Him, and times when Jesus seems farther away. Following a marked path allows the mind to contemplate on the movements of our heart and God in the midst of our lives.
You can enter into the labyrinth simply by opening yourself to God and explore how He might want to meet you through the labyrinth. A simple way of utilizing the movement of the labyrinth is to spend time talking to God on your way in toward the center, and quietly listening to Him on your way out. There are many other prayer prompts and guides to help you experience the riches that prayer labyrinth has to offer. I will share one prayer guide below. It is written for a finger labyrinth but can easily be adjusted for a walking labyrinth as well.
Where Can I Find a Labyrinth Near Me?
Some church courtyards have walking labyrinths that are open to public. Other churches have labyrinths in the sanctuary itself. A helpful resource is the world-wide labyrinth locator. If you cannot find a labyrinth near you, you may want to make one from stones in your garden, draw one on the sand or use chalk on concrete, or project an image on the floor.
Many websites provide free printable finger labyrinths. You can simply print one out and use it to follow the prayer guide below.
Making a Finger Labyrinth Pillow
You can also use any labyrinth pattern as a template to draw a labyrinth on a piece of fabric and create an embroidery labyrinth with embroidery floss or yarn of your choice. I made a finger labyrinth pillow by using rice as filling and lavender & thyme herbal tea bag for a calming scent.
Guided Finger Labyrinth Prayer
Psalm 25:4 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths."
Settle in, remind yourself that God, who loves you, is closer to you than your own skin.
Place your pointing finger at the base of the finger labyrinth and start slowly tracing your way toward the center. Imagine that you are on a pilgrimage, a sacred journey of the heart toward God. (You may want to trace the path with a color pencil or crayon.)
Take your time.
You will notice that at one point you were closer to the center, and then moved farther away again. Yet where ever you appear to be on your journey, you are all the time moving closer to the center toward God.
Talk to God about your life and whatever it is that you want to tell Him about your life's journey right now.
What is it like for you?
Once you have reached the center, pause there for a while. Be still and listen to God.
What would God like to tell you as you come to meet with Him? What are you longing from God?
When you are ready, start tracing your way outward away from the center back to the outside ‘world’, carrying God’s loving words and presence with you.
What do you want to hold onto and take with you?
What do want to give to others whom you meet along the way?
Now repeat this with another finger, perhaps a middle finger or a finger from your non-dominant hand.
I wonder, if you were to relax and trust the path you are on, what might you discover?
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Praying the Labyrinth, A Journal for Spiritual Exploration by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion