General Instructions for Spiritual Practices
Because we find ourselves still living in a time of a worldwide pandemic, it is possible that our coping mechanisms are in overdrive because of the many changes and stresses to our usual routines. Anxiety and anger are often default reactions in very stressful times.
It is our hope that the practice of these spiritual disciplines will assist you in connecting to the peace of Christ, and in deepening your relationship with God. Just trying any of these spiritual disciplines as a way of meeting God is pleasing to God. Focus on the connection with God and not on perfect technique.
The instructions are meant to be guidelines for your prayer time and not as strict rules. Be creative and persistent in prayer. You cannot do any form of prayer incorrectly; the idea is to spend intentional time with God.
Prayer is a dialogue with God - sometimes we speak to God and sometimes we are silent to listen intentionally for the voice of God, which sometimes comes to us as a feeling - of peace, encouragement, of release, of joy. In prayer, we place ourselves in God's hands.
Preparations for Spiritual Practices:
- Pick a time (morning, evening, etc.) and a frequency (every day or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - if you can only manage once a week, that is still good).
- Decide how much time you will spend on this spiritual discipline - from 5 to 20 minutes, and longer if you want to journal.
- It is helpful to have certain rituals to support your spiritual practices. You select the elements of your rituals - try to do them each time. You are trying to make this a habit, a calming habit of spending time with God.
- Create a setting for yourself that is conducive to prayer.
- Make a prayer corner for yourself with items that are special to you. For example, a cross, favorite photo, scented candle, plant, comfortable pillow, prayer shawl, etc.
- Grab your Bible.
- Collect a pen and paper, a journal, or your laptop - it is up to you.
- Pick a comfortable chair, one where you can monitor your breathing, and have no problems with circulation.
- Put your phone on silent.
- Make sure you have some privacy.
- Perhaps light a scented candle.
- Ring a gong/chime as you begin to separate the space and time. Consider using your phone as a timer - perhaps set the alarm to the chime sound.
- Begin with a simple prayer for the guidance of the Spirit.
Lectio Divina Instructions
Lectio Divina Texts
Journaling - An Overview with Prompts
Journaling as a Spiritual Practice
Ideas for Journaling
Journaling the Sermon on the Mount