Addressing God

Starting this week, we are going to continue to try to do some spiritual direction from afar. If we find it isn’t helpful, let me know and we can go a variety of other directions. 

I am using a book I was referred to by one of my pastor friends (believe it or not, I have one or two), “Disciplines for the Inner Life.” I’ve come to discover, the longer I live, we spend way too much time on the outer (which is wasting away) and not enough time on the inner (it is around for eternity). 

The format is pretty straight forward. Remember, structure when it comes to spirituality is not about rigidity, it is about helping us move forward, one step at a time, most especially when we don’t feel like it! I use the Book of Common Prayer especially when I don’t feel like praying! It primes my prayer pump, if you will! ☺

This week’s theme is: Addressing God

Opening Prayer: (prayer every day for this week) O Lord of Hosts, you are Lord alone. You have made the heavens and the earth and all living things that dwell there. Your hand is the soul of every living thing. I would come before you with worship and honor this day. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen. 

Scripture Readings (pick one to read each day – these are the Scriptures which will be used on Sunday morning to come. Read slowly. Remember…the goal is not to get through the Scripture but to get the Scripture through us).

Read one or both of the quotes each day…slowly…what is God saying to you about your own journey through these quotes?

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

Psalm 27

Philippians 3:17-4:1

Luke 13:31-35

A reading for meditation – 

The Jesus Prayer

by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom 

THOSE WHO HAVE read The Way of a Pilgrim are familiar with the expression ‘The Jesus Prayer’. It refers to a short prayer the words of which are: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’constantly repeated. The Way of a Pilgrim is the story of a man who wanted to learn to pray constantly (1Thes 5:I7). As the man whose experience is being related is a pilgrim, a great many of his psychological characteristics, and the way in which he learned and applied the prayer, were conditioned by the fact that he lived in a certain way, which makes the book less universally applicable than it could be; and yet it is the best possible introduction to this prayer, which is one of the greatest treasures of the Orthodox Church.

The prayer is profoundly rooted in the spirit of the gospel, and it is not in vain that the great teachers of Orthodoxy have always insisted on the fact that the Jesus Prayer sums up the whole of the gospel. This is why the Jesus Prayer can only be used in its fullest sense if the person who uses it belongs to the gospel, is a member of the Church of Christ.

All the messages of the gospel, and more than the messages, the reality of the gospel, is contained in the name, in the Person of Jesus. If you take the first half of the prayer you will see how it expresses our faith in the Lord: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.’ At the heart we find the name of Jesus; it is the name before whom every knee shall bow (Is 45:3), and when we pronounce it we affirm the historical event of the incarnation. We affirm that God, the Word of God, co-eternal with the father, became man, and that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in our midst (Col 2:9) bodily in his Person.

Hymn for the Week – 

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Choir of Westminster Abbey

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men:”
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in following years.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

Like flowery fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
Lie withering ere ëtis night.

Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Benediction – Father, you clothe the sky with light and the depths of the ocean with darkness. You work wonders among the sons of humanity. Give me eyes to see your handiwork this day. Amen. 

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