Week Four: Spilling Over

Over the last few weeks, we talked about the different forms of solitary prayer and how we approach prayer.

Just because we've come to Week Four, it doesn't mean we're through. As we read scripture in our quiet time and think of these disciplines, our relationship with God continues to grow.

This week, I invite you again to Carolyn Stahl's book, "Opening to God." The title of this exercise is 'Expanding a Quality'.

Reading: Again he said, "The Kingdom of God, what shall I compare it with? It is like yeast which a woman took and mixed with half a hundredweight of flour till it was all leavened" (Luke 13:20f).

Biblical Note: This reference is to the small amount of yeast necessary to make an enormous amount of dough. This probably was interpreted at the time as a prophecy about the growth of the church and the spreading of the gospel.

For your Meditation: Think of some quality in your life that you sense needs development. The quality might be patience, compassion, joy, serenity, humor, creativity or something else which seems to reflect the kingdom of God. As I talked with a friend this morning about previous weeks, I was reminded that patience would be the quality that I offer into this scripture.

(Reflect on exercises of previous weeks to help you center). Look around you to see where you are, what colors, fragrances and sounds surround you . . . Now visualize a large bowl of dough in front of you . . . Put a small amount of yeast into the bowl and follow the process of making bread until the dough rises. . . Stay in touch with the yeast permeating the entire mass . . . Visualize baking the bread . . . As you finally take the bread out of the oven, observe the quality of it . . .

Application: Now again look at your comfortable surroundings . . . Remind yourself of the quality which you have chosen to develop. . . Remember a time when you experienced this quality in some measure in your life . . . Let yourself experience that quality as you did then (long pause). Let this be your yeast,and imagine moving through your daily routine, letting this quality permeate that routine. . . Notice the effect on other people as you radiate this quality (Spilling over) . . Sit, simply aware of this quality permeating your being and radiating through you and all that you do.
Thank you for taking part in this prayer experience over the last month. God bless you as you continue developing a deeper relationship with God through prayer.

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