Thought for the day. . . about Christian meditation. . .
Christian forms of meditation aim at paying attention to God, or at least sitting quietly in the presence of God and allowing grace to work in the soul (whole person). This quote from J. I. Packer is “packed” with meaning for me (no pun intended!).
Mailboxes serve as the “waiters” of messages, providing a space for something specific to happen. They don’t appear to do anything, and yet mailboxes are serving the purpose for which they were created.
So, too, the contemplative heart waits upon the Lord, dwelling in prayer, being observant, listening, pondering the ways of God–doing precisely what the Lord intended.
Wait for the Lord, take courage;
be stout-hearted, wait for the Lord. —Psalm 27:14.
Will you pray with me?
Lord, we know you are always with us, listening to our prayers and guiding our ways. Help us and all who “wait” to do so with patience and courage. May we truly listen to others this day–not only with our ears but also our hearts. May the words we speak be filled with your compassion. Come, Holy Spirit, guide us in all your ways!
Until next time, Amen!
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Every now and then, I find I have to do something to spice up my relationship with God. Like any relationship, God and I can get stuck in a rut, take things for granted, or let things go a little stale. Of course, it’s not really God who is letting things flounder, but rather I am the one who gets a little lazy or distracted. (Sometimes the feeling of boredom or being stuck in a rut in prayer can really be God calling one to a deeper way of prayer—but that is the subject of another article.)
One way I hope to put a little pizazz into my prayer life this summer is by meeting with a small faith group to explore various contemplative spiritual practices. For six sessions, meeting every other week, we will be exploring different ways from the Christian tradition to pray and relate to God.
We will be meeting every other Wednesday beginning on June 29th, from 7:00 to 8:30 at a member’s home. Because of my background and training in this area, I will be facilitating the first few meetings. This group is part of the small group ministry at Easter Lutheran Church (ELCA) here in Eagan, Minnesota, but one does not have to be a member in order to join us. So you are welcome to attend if you are interested.
To begin with, the book we will be using is called Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert. The author lives up in the area of Crookston, MN, and is a church pastor with many credentials and experience in teaching Christian prayer. We’ll be looking at only 2 chapters per meeting so as to allow time between sessions to experiment with prayer on your own. The book is available from Amazon, Border’s, and Barnes and Noble for about $11. Local stores would probably order it for you. Topics include how to pray using short passages from Scripture, journaling, praying in nature, integrating prayer and life experience, finding God in silence, and other topics. The book is very helpful, but you do not have to obtain it before the first meeting.
Creating a Life with Godexplains how to pray with Scripture using the ancient Christian method called lectio divina (sacred reading), the Jesus Prayer, entering into silence and solitude, finding God in day-to-day experiences, journaling, the role of body in prayer, praying in nature, etc. It looks at how various Christians of the past used these different ways to build their spiritual lives. You can read more about this book at the publisher’s site here and a review of it here.
As I mentioned, if you live close enough to join us, we would love to have you come. Just contact me for more info and directions to our first meeting location at a member’s home. (Click on contact page above.)
And if you are interested but cannot attend, think about reading the book yourself. Feel free to send questions to be discussed on this blog if you like.