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Let Go With Grace

Identify what’s holding you back — a worry, a memory, an anxiety — and start to let it go. This 3-step unbinding practice invites participants to name a personal burden, write it down, pray for God’s help, and — symbolically — leave it behind. Learn how to bring this practice to life in a variety of faith settings.

Materials Needed

Unbinding Practice PDF 495 KB

Cloth strips
Felt-tip markers
Frame for receiving the strips

Large Gatherings

Host your own experiential unbinding prayer station. Portico has offered one at synod assemblies, regional events, and large gatherings, including the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering where over 2,500 young people let go of a burden.

Small Group Devotions

Consider using the unbinding practice as part of a small group devotion, like the one below which focuses on the story of Lazarus (John 11:1-44). The leader begins by introducing the story of Lazarus to the group, saying something like:

“The heart of the story is often read at funerals because of the hope it offers in the resurrection. But the promise of peace and freedom Christ gives is for here and now, too. As you listen to the story, place yourself in this text, and imagine Jesus speaking to you.”

Then, read the full story aloud. As a group or in pairs, ask and discuss one or more of these questions:

  • What emotions do you see in this story?
  • What burdens were people carrying?
  • With which character do you identify most? Why?
  • What do you think life was like for Lazarus after this experience?
  • What’s one way you cope with worry and burdens in your life?

Following discussion, invite participants to complete the unbinding practice.

When all are finished, close in song: Blest Be the Tie That Binds (ELW 656).

On The Road

When ministry brings you in contact with a variety of groups, the unbinding practice can create a meaningful, memorable connection. After experiencing the practice at a Portico prayer station, Kay Broich, Mission Center Administrator for the Western Iowa Synod, created an unbinding wreath and brought it with her during her many congregational visits. She invited people to pray for those who’d already added a burden, and then to add their own.

This information should not be considered or used as a substitute for professional health care advice. By providing this information, Portico Benefit Services is not providing any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Each individual is responsible for his or her own health and medical treatment decisions. You should talk with your doctor to determine the lifestyle changes and health care treatment options appropriate for you.

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