Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 12, 2014

Prayer group offers regular reflection

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — One Pauls Valley woman’s personal quest for spiritual peace has inspired her to try and allow others a chance for the same through a weekly group.

Led by Perla Goody, who got the idea through a spiritual direction course she is taking at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, the idea is the “Lift Up Your Hearts” Prayer and Meditation Group.

It’s a weekly opportunity to learn how to better communicate with God through scripture and prayer, starting for the first time this Thursday, Feb. 13 at the First United Methodist Church here in town.

“I’ve always leaned toward meditation because it’s so calming…This is setting aside yourself for God,” said Goody. “It is really hard to do.”

Goody, who was a minister in the past, liked the way the class she is taking makes her feel and she believes that this is something others can experience, given just a little time out of one’s busy schedule.

She also gained motivation to try a new form of ministry from her own experiences of bringing spiritual comfort to hospice patients as well as to those serving time in prison and believes that helping those who feel the most alone is as close as one can come to being in the presence of the lord.

“I think what brought this all on to a head for me is seeing so many people who don’t have somebody that cares for them or they think they don’t,” said Goody, noting how this can be a good way to allot time to deal with one’s daily struggles or seek guidance.

“We need to care about one another, get as close to God as we can and that’s what this scripture and meditation is… it’s not so much asking God for things, but being in his presence and letting him speak to you.”

Complimented with scripture from the bible, each meeting will start with about 20 minutes of silent prayer and once that is done, people will have the chance to talk or write down in a journal about what they experienced, according to Goody.

It will take place in the Crusader’s room from 10 to 11 a.m. and depending on how many people show up, could lead to other projects as well as retreats for participants.

Goody will also ask those who come to use some time after the meeting to reflect on what was discussed or prayed about.

“It’s a very healing experience, it’s a learning experience, we will all be learning, sharing… we learn how to come before the lord,” said Goody, saying how prayer ultimately gets better with practice.

“Some of us do it with music, some of us do it with art, some of it with writing. I just want to share that with people… I think once they start this, they won’t stop.”

For any questions about the group, call Goody at 405-834-8524. The church is located at 401 North Willow.