A Way to Pray Through the Day!

Looking for a new, or at least, deeper faith walk this year?

If you’re like me, then you are just now coming to rest after a busy holiday season.  In the midst of the chaos, I rediscovered a way to pray that aligns perfectly with Paul’s encouragement to:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  I Thessalonians 5

This way of praying is one way I am experiencing the presence of God, who is alive within me and active among us!  It’s another step in our journey at Pillar.

An adventure, really.  An adventure called, “Set Sail with Us as we Explore, Experience, and Enjoy, the With-God-Life Jesus proclaims and makes possible.”

One of the ways I am connecting with the presence of Christ and the with-God-life is through the practice of Fixed-Hour-Prayer, or as I like to say, “praying your way through your day.”

If you’d like to settle into the presence of Christ throughout your day, check out this brief video and then download the prayer page!

Youtube Link: A Way to Pray Through The Day

Prayer Page: [download-attachment id=”5456″ title=”Pillar A Way to Pray Throughout the Day”]

It might be helpful if I define the term Spiritual Rhythms (Disciplines) so that you know exactly what I mean:

Spiritual Rhythms empower us to live fully into the present reality of God.  They are not an ‘end’ in and of themselves.   They are a means to an end.  They don’t earn any favor with God or serve as some arbitrary measure of our spiritual success.  They are practices of grace, to be experienced over and over again (habit), that awaken us to the presence of Christ in our midst.  As we are awakened, we are then invited to abide with Him.  As we abide with Him, we then begin to live a Jesus-way of life.  A way of life that will experience God’s goodness in our world as we receive His goodness within our hearts and bring His goodness to others.

In other words, Spiritual rhythms help cultivate a life around the reality that Jesus is in our midst and that He is inviting us into an interactive and ongoing relationship with Him.

That means that Jesus is inviting our children and youth to experience him in their home, the hallways at school, the lunchroom, neighborhood, bedroom, etc.

It’s a life lived with Him at this very moment, in this very space.

Our emphasis in January and February is on living a Generous life and the impact our generosity can make on our communities!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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A New Year’s Prayer for a Soul-full, Sacred, and Satisfying Way of Life!

Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

Sometimes a tree can be so unhealthy that the only hope for renewal is to chop it down.  John, in the Matthew passage above, is proclaiming just such a message! For, as he envisions God’s Kingdom yet to come, he imagines the King as one who comes with an ax.  Not for the purpose of destruction, but for the hope of restoration.  John’s ministry is one of preparing God’s people for the new Kingdom era, which is to be proclaimed and embodied by Christ.

As such, he calls God’s people to get ready.

How?

By ‘axing’ the things that bring death.

Why?

Because the prophet, John, has read the prophet Isaiah and he knows that a stump can produce a root that can grow stronger and more stable than the tree which it is replacing.

To get a stump, though, one must wield an ax.

As I enter this New Year, my prayer is that I will be able to identify – by God’s grace – what needs to be ‘axed’ in my life.

The question I am asking is “What things distract me from or distort my desires for God?”

Or, in John-like fashion, “What needs to be cut down (axed) in my life so that Christ’s presence might take control of my life?”

Here are some areas I am considering:

  • Greed?
  • Pettiness?
  • Gossip?
  • Anger?
  • Bitterness?
  • Unforgiveness?
  • Impatience?
  • Social Media?
  • Television?

Well, you get the picture.  We all have areas in need of a quick, crisp, and clean axing!

From this orientation of seeking and surrender, I’ve developed a daily – even hourly – prayer that opens me to the pruning only the grace of Christ can provide.

Maybe this prayer can be yours as well.

Happy ‘Axing’ this New Year!

Praying My Way Into A Soul-full, Sacred, and Satisfying Way of Life.

Holy Father,

As I enter this day, this hour, this moment, I confess that much of my soul remains untouched by you because my heart longs for affections other than you. So, touch the untouched places, O King, and saturate the holes deep in my heart with your inexhaustible and empowering grace!

As your presence empowers, may my awareness increase.  I pray not for a general awareness, O King.  I pray, rather, for an awareness of your presence with me.  I pray that I might become attuned to the joy you take over me and the delight you have in me!  As my heart attunes this joy and delight – this sacred song of your love – may I become more discerning regarding the input I see and information I entertain.

I invite you, this day, this hour, this moment, to ‘ax’ away all that distracts and distorts my deepest desire, which is to delight in the sacred, satisfying, and soul-full presence of Christ in my midst!

Amen.

Disrupting to Renew!

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A Daily Prayer for this Season of Celebration and Cheer!

This daily prayer is one I crafted as a part of my Granular Rhythms of Grace. Specific to this season, I hope this  prayer equips you to enjoy the rhythm of becoming aware of our lesser loves and how they point to our Ultimate Love.   Happy Thanksgiving!

Gracious Lord,

You are, indeed, a good, good Father.

This day, of all days, you’d think an awareness of your grace and goodness would be intuitive to those whom you have loved.

My King, I confess: This day – indeed, this entire season – quickly woos me into a sleepy slumber.  One in which my senses become dulled to your goodness and glory.  A slumber from which my desires become fired by pursuits that leave me longing for more.

So, today – this day of Thanks Giving – launching this season of Celebration and Cheer, I pray:

Before my eyes gaze on the sights which both ignite and delight,

Before my ears dwell on the sounds which both soothe and subdue,

Before my feet traverse the pathways which both energize and excite,

Before my hands corral the bounty which both enlivens and inspire,

Before my mouth savors the tastes which both comfort and cure,

Before my arms embrace the loved ones who both renew and restore,

May my eyes gaze upon Christ!

May my ears hear Your voice in the midst of the clamor and chaos that this day – and season – easily become!

May my feet run to You as a refuge for my soul!

May my hands reach for You as my body wearies and my mind wanders!

May my mouth ingest Your Word, which springs new wells of refreshing waters!

May my arms raise in surrender to You love, mercy, and grace!

May my soul – my innards, my gut – the deepest part of who I am, put on Christ!

For it is Christ whom I long to

Gaze upon, 

Dwell with,

Corral,

Savor,

Embrace.

May, at this moment – on this day – through this season, I remember to inhale the grace of Christ.  For Christ is the Love to which all these lesser – but exquisite – loves ultimately point.

May I ever remember and always be grateful for You who satisfy and in Whom my soul delights!

Amen.

If you’d like a version of this prayer, click the following links:

[download-attachment id=”3560″ title=”A-daily-prayer-for-this-season-of-celebration-and-cheer”]

I’d Love to Hear From You!

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July Prayer Journey: A Few Minutes A Day May Just Change Your Life!

Can a few Beach Black and Whiteminutes a day change your life?

The ancients thought  so! The Psalmist proclaims, in Psalm 119:164,

“I will praise you seven times a day
    because all your regulations are just.”

How might seven full stops a day reorient my life?

How might seven meaningful moments of praise, prayer, and reflection empower me to live into the fullness of God’s love and the life He offers?

I hope that seven brief but potent Spirit-empowered daily pauses, practiced with intention and over time, will help me be more engaged, faithful, patient, loving, and kind as a:

  • Husband
  • Wife
  • Father
  • Neighbor
  • Friend
  • Pastor?
  • Son
  • Daughter

I’ve been contemplating questions like this for a few weeks now.  So, for the month of July, I am going to attempt a prayer journey.   I’ve asked my Pillar family if they’d like to take this journey with me.  With this post, I’m asking you to consider taking this journey as well!

The journey consists of only a few steps.  The steps will, however, be repeated between five and seven times every day.

  • Step 1: Memorize your favorite version of the Lords prayer (Matthew 6:9 – 13 or Luke 11:2 – 4).
  • Step 2: Pause and ‘pray’ the Lord’s prayer throughout your day.  The following stops are the ones I’m going to try to make:
    • When I wake up.
    • Before breakfast.
    • Before lunch.
    • Before Dinner.
    • Before Bed.
  • Step 3: As you pause to pray, take a moment to reflect on one portion of the prayer specifically.
  • Step 4: Invite some friends to practice this rhythm with you.  Schedule a weekly gathering with them to share the insights gained.
  • Step 5: Consider taking half a day during the month for a personal retreat during which you can dive more deeply into this prayer the Lord gave us.

You will find a reproducible image that you may want to keep with you, as well as a link to a Pdf file, that you can download to serve as a guide during the month.

Tired of trying the same old ‘quick fix’ approaches to deeply rooted problems?

Spend a month with the Master, and a few friends.

It may just change your life!

PDF: Praying in the Kingdom

Praying in the Kingdom

Disrupting to Renew!

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A Poetic Prayer of Joy: Our Father

I normally post poems via a different website. I am, however, going to begin to include my poems – as well as the poetic expressions of others (both modern and historical pieces) – as a part of this site.

I believe we will never disrupt our normal routines if we don’t take the time to reflect on and enjoy the artistic expression of poetry.

You will find my latest work, Our Father, on my site.  I hope the piece enriches your life and encourages you as you go!  If it does, please share with others.

Continue reading “A Poetic Prayer of Joy: Our Father”