THEME: EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY OFFER A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION IN OUR LIVES.
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, REFRESH MY SOUL WITH YOUR NEARNESS AND LOVE.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
Gracious and upright is the Lord; therefore he teaches sinners in his way. He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly. (Psalm 25:7-8)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.[A “breath prayer” is a short prayer that is meant to be repeated, often as we breathe in and out. This ancient practice helps quiet our noisy minds and remember that God is near. To pray the breath prayer, simply sit comfortably and close your eyes, repeating the phrase silently as you breathe in and out. After allowing this prayer to help you fully rest in the moment, continue on with the day’s practice.]
LEARNING TO LISTEN
On Sunday, Eddie described contemplative spirituality as “slowing down to be with Jesus.” When we slow down to be with Jesus, we allow ourselves time to listen to Him as He speaks to us. For most of us, that means we need to learn to listen to Him as we begin to engage in emotionally healthy spirituality. To begin today’s practice, take time to listen to this message that Larry Green gave at The Parish on the ways that we can hear from God. Larry’s explanation of the ways God speaks begins at minute 11:24 of the message.
Now, take 10-15 minutes to practice what you just heard described. Sit comfortably in a place where you can be quiet and take the following questions to God. After each question, rest in the stillness and listen for what the Lord brings to mind. If you get distracted, try praying our breath prayer a few times to focus. As he speaks, write down what he says as well as the manner in which he says it whether it is through our thoughts, pictures and images, remembered scripture, etc.
- God, what do I mean to you?
- God, why do you love me?
Digging Deeper … Go back and listen to the first 11:24 of Larry’s message. Make note of any part of the message that really gets your attention. Get quiet again and take this part to God and ask Him, “Lord, what do you want me to know about this?” Make note of what He says as well as the ways that He speaks to you.
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you discovered during your time of reflection.
- Closing: Lord, thank you for the many ways You speak to me. Please teach me to hear Your voice and give me confidence in the ways I hear it.