Still lyfe (15 July 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction:

Last week we introduced six great streams or traditions within the historical Christian church: prayer, holiness, embracing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, social action, a high value of Scripture and the pursuit of an incarnational, everyday life with God. These six streams are also clearly evident in the life and ministry of Jesus. If we pay attention to these six streams in our own lives, they will help form in us a balanced and holistic life with God. This week we get to swim a little deeper in each of the streams.

Read: 

You are my God. I worship you.
In my heart, I long for you,
as I would long for a stream
in a scorching desert.

I have seen your power
and your glory
in the place of worship.
Your love means more
than life to me,
and I praise you.
As long as I live,
I will pray to you.
I will sing joyful praises
and be filled with excitement
like a guest at a banquet.

(Psalm 63.1-5)

Reflect:

In the third century, men and women known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers left the city to live in the desert and pursue practices of prayer, meditation, silence and solitude – a life of loving attention to God. We remember too that Jesus often sought out silence and solitude in order to pray. The ideal is not just that we find time in our life to pray, but that we live a praying life, a life that causes us to continually set our hearts and minds before God.

Respond:

Take time to pray these words today:

‘Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first speech be your name, let my first action be to kneel before you in prayer. Let me not, when this prayer is said, think my worship is ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of you. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day.’ (John Baille, A Diary of Private Prayer)

Midday Meditation:

Let me be reborn in you and see through you the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, thoughts can become a hymn of praise to you. I need your loving grace to travel on this hard road that leads to the death of my old self and to a new life in and for you. I know and trust that this is the road to freedom. Lord, dispel my mistrust and help me become a trusting friend. Amen. 

(Henri Nouwen)

Evening Reflection:

I lay my head to rest

 and in doing so lay at your feet

the faces I have seen

the voices I have heard

the words I have spoken

the hands I have shaken

the service I have given

the joys I have shared

the sorrows revealed

I lay them at your feet

and in doing so

lay my head to rest 

(Celtic Evening Prayer)
 

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