This week, as we consider our spiritual rhythm of prayer in pursuit of greater intimacy with God, we think about the new practices we can try or the old habits that we can recall. I challenge you to read through these and consider what you would like to try, add, and improve in your prayer life. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it’s a great starting point.
In prayer, God wants us to come before him as we are, however we are feeling. There is no need to hold back. Everything belongs: our nervousness; our aggression; the good and the bad; EVERYTHING. God can handle it! We do not need to fear being honest with God.
And it’s a painful dentist visit if you get too far behind. That’s sort of how it’s been during the years of not reading scripture daily: scum-y. And the scum builds. Self-talk is scum-y, conversations with strangers are scum-y, talking with friends and family becomes scum-y.
I realized during our Rooted study last year that this is a response of feeling responsible for so many things. I realized after addressing control through that lens it is often also a way of protecting myself emotionally. I have been addressing that in prayer over some months now. I ask God often to "convince me that trusting Him is easier than trusting myself."
The Bible is meant for ongoing meditation. One way to study the scriptures is through the rhythm of Lectio Divina. In this method, we seek to experience the presence of God through reading and listening, prayer, meditation and contemplation.
No spiritual rhythm is more important than the intake of God's word. Nothing can substitute for it. In our busy lives, it's easy to become preoccupied with "Christian" activities and not spend enough time in God's word. Scripture intake is not only one of the most important spiritual rhythms, it is also the most broad. There are several ways to pursue scripture.
So what is the matter with being in a rut? There is an old saying “a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out!” We talked in the Sunday sermon about habits or Rhythms that we get into. Some good, some bad, and some, . . well just our routine.
As with running, the spiritual rhythms that I engage in (prayer, Scripture, rest, community) have been uncomfortable and sporadic at first. I have to build endurance for them. I have to push through not enjoying some of them and evaluate afterwards the fact that they actually made me feel better than before.
That is the focus of our series, "PURSUIT". We are pursuing relationship with Jesus by developing rhythms that shape our hearts and the pattern of our behaviors. Not just our hearts...our souls. These rhythms unite our heads and our hearts, growing our love for God and our neighbors, just as we were created to be.
The Pantry here at Harvest has just been so good lately.
It has been an encouragement to my heart to see the Lord’s provision and I want to write so that you all may be encouraged as well.