Week 1 June 2nd, 2014
PRAYER: In silent or spoken words, begin your prayers. These can take many forms. Some people like to write out a prayer and use it to begin, while others like to pray what comes to mind. Both are ways, "the Spirit gives us utterance'.
CONSIDERATION: We are taught from early age to be proud of our achievements. They give us confidence and a desire to do well. This is not wrong, in fact this kind of motivation is to be valued.
How then do we know when our life gets out of sync and pride takes over to allow these achievements, accomplishments or success to become the focus in our life? What is the key or what are the signs of this happening?
REFLECTION: It is not difficult to make created things the center of our life rather than using them to glorify God: this risks dividing our devotion in unhealthy ways. The task then is to keep a balance. Think about an achievement, item or individual.of which you are proud that is either yours or someone else's creation. Ask yourself the question, "How have I become attached to this in ways that do not glorify God."
CONVERSATION: Chat with God. (This is different than prayer). Imagine Jesus sitting with you. Take this opportunity to share about anything that comes to mind.
- Caution - It is easy to quote scripture or say praise statements or use repetitive phrases. If this is necessary for you to have a conversation, than proceed. However, think of the 'everyday' ways people talked to God and Jesus.
- Example: It's easy to find Jesus' words in scripture and they might come quickly to your mind. Scan scripture for how people conversed - what topics did they choose and what burdens did they share?.
1. The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman,
for a drink?” John 4:9)
2. Moses said to the LORD, "Pardon your servant, Lord.
I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since
you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech
and tongue" (Exodus 4:10).
JOURNAL: Write about this time spent with God as much as possible. Don't be afraid to be honest - it's your journal. 'Show don't tell' helps to keep us focused on how our 'actions can speak louder than words.'
ILLUSTRATION: It's important to apply this week's thoughts to your life in ways that work for you. In other words, find a way to "Lay your life into it." One way is to fit it into an experience. Tell/write a story when you were able to begin to put this devotion into practice. I'll share a simple illustration with you: yesterday while working in my flower bed, I found myself looking at the detail in a dandelion and I thanked God that for so many years, this weed's healing properties have been acknowledged and how it was used as a healing agent." This did not deter me from pulling the weed out, but there was benefit in acknowledging its natural created world rather than focusing on how much my neighbours would enjoy my efforts (self created), which they definitely would. But doesn't that go without saying?.
DAILY AWARENESS EXERCISE:
Thanksgiving: God, always look on me and others with love. Thank you for walking along my journey of life with me.
Prayer for Light: I ask for the guidance of the Spirit to see any inner experiences, desires, impulses, urges of my life today and how the Spirit is leading me through them.
Reflecting on the Day:
1. Remember various moments of the day. Name one experience on which I want to focus; for example, enjoying or being repulsed by or drawn to some person, event or thing?
2. a) What did I feel as the incident happened? There may have been a mixture of feelings or a noticeable lack of feeling.
b). Was I aware of what I felt as it happened or later?
3. How did I respond to these feelings? (Suppress them, laugh, cry, take them out on others or . . . )
4. What does this indicate for me (about my own and others' needs, fears, gifts)? I will talk this over with God, who is with me and loves me in the midst of this reality.
5. How is the Spirit of God present for me? Are there any signs of the Spirit that I recognize? Are there any destructive signs, indicators that some part of this is not of the Spirit?
6. What is God asking me to do? Talk this over with God.
Read a passage of scripture to let the Word shed light on your experience. Read the scripture again . . . and again..
Ask: What Grace do I seek today?
Journal your thoughts as well as your prayers.