Monday, March 17, 2014


Last Monday I made a suggestion to those who had  heard the Invitation to Observe a Holy Lent and wanted to take it seriously:  Use these weeks of Lent to Practice Being in His Presence.  The spiritual challenge was to move toward spending a hour a day being in the presence of God.  Of course, jumping into that kind of time commitment would mean immediate failure for many of us so the goal for last week was to spend ten minutes each day this past week being in the presence of God.  If we add ten minutes for each week of Lent, we will find ourselves at the end of this holy season someplace we never thought we would be in our spiritual life.

So, as we move into the second week of Lent, we are ready to add an additional ten minutes.   Will we decide now to spend more time being in His presence?  When we think about twenty minutes, it seems like such a short amount of time until we start thinking about it being the time we are giving to God.  There is a part of us that wonders if it is something which can really be done.  We will not know until we commit not to try, but commit to do it.  One thing which might be added this week is the discipline of praying the Psalms.  Pick out one of the Psalms and read it aloud and then after a moment pray it.  Keep the Word open before you.  Paraphrase the words so that they become a prayer.  For example begin the 23rd Psalm praying, "Lord, I need You to be the One to take care of my life.  According to Your mercy, provide those things which I need for living.  Help me to depend on You to provide and lead me...."

Most of us pray in such a predictable way.  As difficult as it is to admit, hearing one of our prayers is to hear them all.  We follow the same routine, observe the same ritual, use the same words, pray with such limited expectations, and get it all done in such a few minutes.  Praying the Psalms or some other part of the Word can serve as a way of helping us to break out of prayers that are not only predicable but boring.  God is sure to listen regardless of how we pray, but sometimes we might wonder if He gets bored by the same stuff over and over and over.  Consider adding those minutes this week with something new.  You may be surprised at the difference. 

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