Tag Archives: familiar

What Has Shaped Me? In Prayer?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, May 14, 2015

keep me inn the spirit of prayer

What Has Shaped Me? In Prayer?

I have found that the way of Ignatian prayer and meditation seems deceptively simple, yet somehow not. And, definitely not easy.

The first exercises found in Inner Compass involve prayer and meditation. Yes, prayer with imagery, using Scripture. Yet, prayer and meditation pointed toward some deep questions. Questions that can break me wide open and leave me painfully raw. (It’s no wonder that a good, competent guide or spiritual director is strongly recommended, when embarking on this sort of a spiritual journey!)

Today, the question strongly attracting me is: how am I personally relating to God, right now? A follow-up question, how do I feel about that relationship?

Margaret Silf recommends that I read one of the suggested Scripture passages until it is familiar to me. Then, ask God to open my heart to discern its meaning(s) for me, personally. And, then, look at how the passage touches my life’s journey. That is Silf’s method of using Scripture in prayer.[1]

Psalm 139 is the passage that jumped out at me, from the references she suggested. And, goodness knows I am familiar enough with the passage. Yes, I am infinitely valuable to God. When I was being formed in secret, as well as right now. Yes, God knows me so much better than anyone else in the whole world. Such knowledge is too deep for me. It blows my mind.

There are several more things I gleaned from this passage, and I didn’t even spend a great deal of time on it! Dear Lord, thank You for these words of King David. Help me to learn from these verses. Reveal those things You wish for me to understand. Thank You, Lord.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 22.

Hanging On—Or Letting Go? In Prayer.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 3, 2015

devotion to Christ one thing that's necessary

Hanging On—Or Letting Go? In Prayer.

How often am I like Martha, “worried and distracted by many things?” (Luke 10:41) Yes, I am often worried and distracted. Generally, in life. But in prayer, when I am ‘supposed to’ be in prayer, or when I am ‘missing’ my time of prayer? Such barriers are so common in my life.

I am drawn to these sentences from my prayer guide by Howell: “Prayer is hard, because it is like letting go. We hang on to what is familiar, even if it’s of no great value.”[1] Hanging on to those things or ways or practices that are familiar is sometimes like a millstone around my neck, weighing me down. Other times it’s like wearing clothing that just doesn’t fit on me anymore, and is hopelessly binding or constrictive. Hanging on to those things are also like busy time-wasters that fritter away my available time, leaving me with only the crumbs to offer to God.

When I prayed today, those words from Luke echoed and re-echoed in my mind. God, are You trying to tell me something?

I don’t _think_ I am too busy. I still have a little leisure time. I am trying to follow the excellent advice of my friend Jason, a full-time church worker at the time. I received these good words several years ago, when he told me he blocked out three basic time slots a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. He suggested that I only schedule two of those time slots per day for work, and leave the third free for myself. I have been trying to follow his excellent lead and advice.

My friend’s words are useful not only for scheduling and calendar matters. His suggestions are useful in matters of prayer and relationship, too.

Let’s pray. Dear God, I want to be able to offer You a real relationship, not just the crumbs and scraps of time that are like leftovers in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Help me, God. Please. In Your mercy and for the sake of Your grace I pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 18.

(Suggestion: visit me at my sister blog for 2015: (The Best Of) ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com     Thanks!)