My blog is increasingly focusing on prayer and spirituality and the response has been very positive in comments, email and through FaceBook where I link to this page on almost a daily basis.
The prayers I write and post here come sometimes from my own prayer, sometimes from my experience of others, and sometimes as a combination of the two.
A personal reflection in a post from my Lenten series has stayed with me for some time and has become a recurring element in my prayer and an influence in my ministry. The post I refer to was a reflection on bending.
When I pray, I often hold on to a verse, a phrase or just a word that has struck or touched me in a particular way. I try to hold on to that word, taking it with me as a companion through the day. Recalling that word through the course of a day connects me with the prayer in which I found it. The longer the word stays with me the greater resource it seems to become. Think of a pool of water that widens and deepens each time you drink from it, each time you bathe in it. Drawing from such a pool doesn't deplete it but rather increases its capacity to quench and refresh. So it is with a word the Lord speaks to me in prayer, a word I take from prayer to carry through the day.
From the Lenten post I referred to above, the simple word bend has been a recurring grace at various times in my work and prayer. Embedded within, the word bend catches my attention, reminds me of the prayer from which it came and how, over the weeks, it has influenced me and changed me. If you read the Lenten post, you'll have a sense of the ways in which this may have helped me.
Usually, such a verse, phrase or word might stay with me a day or two but bend has stayed around for a much longer time and I'm very grateful for that.
I encourage you to consider praying this way yourself.
Find some quiet time and go to a quiet place...
After a few deep breaths,
ask the Lord to speak a word to you
(a verse, a phrase or a single word)...
Begin reading the scriptures until you come to the word
you believe the Lord is speaking to you...
Stay with that word, pray with that word, ponder that word,
taste that word, explore that word,
trust it to be the Lord's word for you today...
Why might the Lord speak that particular word to you, today?
Simply repeat that word (or verse of phrase) a number of times
until it becomes part of you... until you know it... until it's yours...
You might want to write it down
and keep it in your pocket to remember it...
When that word has found a place within you,
ask the Lord to keep it there for you
and to draw you to it (and it to you)
when the grace of that word might help you
in your prayer, your work, you life with others...
Writing about the power of God's word in our lives, St. Bernard gives us these compelling thoughts:
Where is God’s word to be kept?
Obviously, in the heart...
Keep God’s word in this way.
Let it enter your very being,
let it take possession of your desires
and your whole way of life.
Feed on goodness
and your soul will delight in richness
Remember to eat your bread
or your heart will wither away.
Fill your soul with richness and strength.
If you keep the word of God in this way,
it will also keep you
- St. BernardThe Lord has a word for you today...
Will you make the time and find a quiet place
to listen for the word he waits to give you?
Will you pray with that word
and take it with you
for the rest of the day, or longer?
Will you keep that word
and let that word keep you?
The Lord has a word for you today...
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