Praying Through Movement

What is praying through movement?

Our Christian faith is incarnational: God became flesh and dwelt among us.  This means our bodies matter.  In fact, Scripture says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).  We can use the simplest gestures of our bodies – shaking a hand, hugging a friend, exercising – and use them to glorify God. We are embodied children of God, so it is fitting to use our bodies to pray.

How do I do it?

You can make your movement a prayer.

  • Kneel or prostrate yourself before the Blessed Sacrament.  Let your posture show God your reverence.
  • Take a walk or move in some way while you pray out loud.  
  • Raise your hands in the air as you sing songs of praise.
  • Dance to Christian hymns.
  • Notice your movement during Mass: the sign of the cross, bowing, kneeling, beating the heart, and more.
  • Bow deeply when you see a cross, making the sign of the cross.
  • Join your hands together.  Then open them out in a v-shape, calling upon the Holy Spirit.  Then hold both your hands forward with palms up to receive God’s blessings.
  • Kiss the Bible or Book of the Gospels before reading it.
  • Make a pilgrimage.  This can be as simple as reverently walking to a cross in your home and praying there, or as extensive as traveling to another country to visit a holy site.  You could make a pilgrimage on campus to the Grotto, the cross in the woods, or the Basilica.  God often meets us along the journey to our destination.
  • Practice mindful stretching.  Turn on Christian hymns and stretch your body in new ways.
  • Open your hands when you meditate.  This posture opens us up to God’s will for our lives.
  • Try liturgical dance, using your whole body to glorify God.
  • Honor your body by taking good care of it: turn your exercise into a prayer.  Take a walk or go for a run and pray as you go.  As you exercise, thank God for the gift of your body.