Below you will find a few ideas to help guide your time to "be still and know that He is God." (Psalm 46.10)
(Or click the link below for a printable version!)
1. RECALL YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
As you sit in silence, renew your awareness of God’s love for you as your one true and perfect Father. Try to make yourself attentive to his presence and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and mind as you pray.
2. REVIEW YOUR DAY WITH GRATITUDE
This is the central (and longest) part of the prayer. Review your day from beginning to end—identifying and being thankful for God’s presence throughout. Process your day’s high and low points. Search for encounters and experiences where you showed grace and your heart was at peace, and those where you did not. Recall things that were life-giving and things that drained you. When were you most joyful? When did you fail to live in the joy of Christ? Were there times where you sensed connection with God? Were there times you did not, or rejected his presence in a situation or relationship? You may ask questions like:
• For what/who am I most grateful for?
• For what/who was I least grateful for?
• Where did I show God’s love and heart to others?
• Where did I fail to show God’s love and heart to others?
• What do I need to be thankful for?
• What do I need to repent of?
• What action, mindset, or rhythm should I try to repeat with intention?
• Is there anything, or a relationship with anyone, where I need to take a step toward restoration tomorrow?
• Are there patterns (or habits) that made me more like Christ today?
• Are there patterns (or habits) that made me less like Christ today?
• Is there anything God is asking me to (1) start doing, (2) stop doing, (3) start believing or thinking, (4) stop believing or thinking, (5) to commit to, (6) or to stop committing to? Take time to review your heart and motives. Respond to God in joy for his presence and love for you. Respond in repentance where you have not lived in step with his Spirit.
3. RENEW THE GOSPEL IN YOUR HEART AND LIFE
As you recall actions you’ll find yourself naturally thankful where you have lived a holy life and naturally convicted where you have not. The good news (gospel) is that, although you are guilty and unworthy, through Christ you are fully accepted and loved. This prayer is not about establishing a “tab” with God where you daily reconcile good and bad to find out if you’re ahead or behind. If you have placed your faith in Christ, you’re reviewing your life from a place of love and acceptance. In other words, you’re not trying to earn his approval or acceptance (and you never could)—but because Christ has gained acceptance for you, you have the pleasure of responding in gratitude to his grace.
4. LOOK FORWARD WITH THE LORD’S PRAYER
This is how Jesus taught his followers to pray—and in this prayer we join with hundreds and hundreds of years of Christians, from all around the world, together before Christ. Our Father in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
(Or click the link below for a printable version!)
“Lectio Divina”, Latin for “sacred reading,” is an ancient practice of quiet prayer and reflection, reading scripture and listening to the voice of God, dating back to about 300AD. Lectio can be done alone or in a group. There are 4 sections to Lectio which we will follow. The whole process should take about 30-40 minutes.
- Posture is important. Sit straight up, feet on the floor, hands in your lap or to your sides. This is important to attentive listening. While this process can be restful, it is a time to be attentive to God’s voice.
- This time is your gift to God. It’s not about whether you get something out of it or not. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t “get it.”
- Your mind will wander. Recognize that this happens, even to those who practice Lectio often. When you catch yourself, refocus and continue. They don’t call them “spiritual practices” for nothing!
LECTIO – read (5-7 minutes)
Scripture passage for today: (For example... Mark 10:46-52. Choose your own! =)
- READ through the passage of scripture two or three times
- LISTEN for a specific word or phrase that catches your attention
- Word or phrase: ___________________________________________________
MEDITATIO – think (5-7 minutes)
- “Meditate” literally means “to gnaw”, as a dog gnaws on a bone.
- Actively think about your word or phrase
- Ask: Why is it important? How does it make me feel?
- “Shine a spotlight on it” – look at the word or phrase from different angles
- Put yourself into the scene. What do you feel and see?
- You can write notes below.
ORATIO – pray (8-10 minutes)
- Ask, “God, why did you give me this word? Why do I feel this way about this phrase?”
- Listen for a response. Follow your active thoughts (not your distraction thoughts)
- Be patient.
- Move into the heart of the matter. Feel deep feelings. Consider the following questions as you respond to God:
What do I want to communicate to God?
What am I longing for in my relationship with God?
What do I desire in my prayer life?
What secrets of my heart are ready to be expressed? Is there joy? grief? fear? gratitude?
CONTEMPLATIO – Live (5-7 minutes)
- Rest in the love and presence of God, feel his closeness
- Thank God for this word.
ACTIO – Action (3-5 minutes)
- Ask yourself the following questions in utter honesty:
How is God challenging me?
Is there a good thing God is calling me to do?
Is there a harmful thing God wants me to stop doing?
What is the next step I need to take?
- Decide on a course of action (large or small). Make the commitment and follow through with your plan.