How a person prays is the topic of an August workshop in Davenport, led by a retired minister and licensed clinical counselor.
Elaine K. Olson, Bettendorf, is an ordained Lutheran minister and counselor. She will lead the workshop on Aug. 12 at Grace Lutheran Church, 1140 E. High St., Davenport.
It is intended to help participants learn about their spiritual side, including those who are not sure how to pray.
Olson spent 25 years helping others find meaning in life, especially during times of transition. She moved to the Quad-Cities a year ago, to be near her family and grandchildren.
Spiritual health, she said, is as important as mental and physical health.
"Spirituality is paying attention, and being intentional on issues of being, not just doing," Olson said. This connects to an understanding of what gives one life and purpose, and makes people resilient.
Prayer is an intentional activity that helps people to engage in their own spirituality. It can be formal, ritualized prayer, which comes from religious institutions, prayer through conversations with God, meditation, or prayer while being surrounded by lovely music.
"I understand prayer in the whole range of intentional things we do. What is it that helps us in our awareness of life?" she said.
Olson is also interested in other faiths, and how others see God. "I'm Christian, therefore I understand these amazing mysteries of the universe, through God and what is revealed in the stories of Jesus Christ," she said.
At the same time, she respects and honors the journeys taken by those of other faiths, and how they might understand God in different ways.
"We have lots to learn from each other," Olson said.
The workshop will use a format developed by Urban Holmes III. Holmes was an Episcopal priest, theologian and academic in the 20th century. His published works include "The Church's Teaching Series," from 1979.
Workshop-goers will explore their personal spiritual type, and "how it is placed in the context of God's grace," Olson said.
Secondly, they will learn different types of prayer styles, and how to create conversation for mutual understanding and support, with those of other faiths.
Olson has used the work of Holmes for several years, and said it's helpful for educational purposes. While the theologian originally developed the guidance for Christians, it also applies to other faiths and practices.