Preparing for Pentecost

I’ve been writing more and more often on my public Facebook page, called “Spiritual Drawing Board by Julie McCarty.” I see it as a vehicle for spreading the gospel message of Christ in an ecumenical, friendly way–and learning from others, as well. The experience of writing in that little space is teaching me how to write more succinctly.

Another thing I’m discovering in using Facebook is the joy of combining words with images. Both are forms of communication, and I did not realize just how much I enjoy expressing myself through combining the two.

So today I’m sharing here what I posted on that FB page, a prayer that arose in me this morning, as I was thinking about Pentecost. Many Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Sunday Feast of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter (this year, June 8). Traditionally, some Christians prayed everyday to the Holy Spirit for nine days ahead of the feast. This practice was a kind of devotion and spiritual way of preparing for the celebration of God’s Spirit with and within us.

Here’s the post… Do enjoy and if you are comfortable, pray along…

Open sign--Julie McCarty--Spiritual Drawing Board--Eagan MN

 

Thinking about upcoming feast of Pentecost,
the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit. 
Join me in prayer? ...

O God,
I believe your Holy Spirit is within me, but please
help me not to “close” the door to your loving presence.
May my heart (soul) expand more and more within,
fretting less about myself
and allowing your Holy Spirit to live and move and act
more fully within my life each day.
Give me open ears, that I might hear You,
open mind, that I might think more clearly about You,
and open heart, that I might love You
and all your beloved people
more fully each day.
This I ask in the love of Christ,
and in the communion of the Holy Spirit,
Amen.
 

 

Lenten Opportunity: E-mail book group about “Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God”

Hearing God book cover

“Being close to God means communicating with him–telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if God says to us is not clear?”  — From the back cover of “Hearing God” by Dallas Willard. 

Lent begins today, and if you are still looking for some special way to observe the season, you might consider reading this book, “Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.”  As most of you reading this blog know, prayer is not just about chattering on and on to God. Prayer is also about listening to God, paying attention to the presence of God.

But precisely how do we do this “listening” when it comes to God? Is there something wrong with us if we don’t actually hear a voice with our ears or in our minds? Is there some other way of “listening”?

During Lent I am facilitating a “virtual” book study about “Hearing God” in a small group format using e-mail. A friend of mine from church did this last summer with a group of Christians using a different book, and I learned a great deal. It was very convenient because we just wrote our thoughts at whatever time of day we wanted. We shared with people from different parts of the country, too. Frankly for me it was both challenging as a Christian (it was that kind of book) and JUST PLAIN FUN. 

I already have a couple of people who want to discuss “Hearing God” in this way. If we have enough people (we need a few more to make it work), we will start the group process around next Wednesday, March 12. You can buy the book on Amazon or Christian Books or other places. There is even a Kindle version and audio version. (I will be using the 2012 updated version–and I’m also hoping to watch the related DVD’s.)

Amish Quilt Please  join this group only if you have an open heart to learning about this important topic. People who join us should be prepared to be honest but polite, respectful of other people’s feelings and ideas.

Will you join us? If interested, please send me your first and last name and e-mail address by March 10.  I am not charging a fee for this–just buy the book, and have fun reading and pondering the ways of God.

Contact me via e-mail at juliemccarty (at)  usfamily  (dot)  com  —OR– send a message to my Facebook page called “Spiritual Drawing Board by Julie McCarty.”

Whatever your spiritual practices this Lent, may the good Lord bless you.

Until next time,  Amen!