I love Psalm 133 which paints a picture of precious oil running down one’s face and refers to the joy of covenantal unity. I am not enamored with the idea of greasy hair and the unity I need is of heart, soul, mind and strength to love well, but I can anoint my body with small amounts of oil as a reminder that I am blessed to be a blessing.
About a year ago, I spontaneously began the practice of prayerfully anointing my body with oil* as I say the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference!
My routine flows something like this:
- Put a little oil on the inside of each elbow and recite the first line of the prayer as a reminder that serenity and acceptance include embracing what cannot be changed.
- Contemplate the next line of the prayer and touch the back of each knee with a little oil, knowing courage requires the humility to bend the knees in prayer seeking ways to change what can be changed.
- And finally dab the top of each foot with oil asking God for a discerning heart and the strength to walk in wisdom.
Healthy spiritual practices and prayer bring greater freedom to our lives. The gift of the Serenity Prayer is the hope of living a life of surrender, courage, and discernment. The practice of anointing the body encourages the joy of freely rising up to bless the Lord and be a blessing each new day.
*A roller ball of oil or even lotion are recommended.