Going Inward

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: Going Inward

Opening Prayer: (prayer every day for this week) O God, in all the ages you have imparted yourself to humanity and set alight the fire of faith in their heart. Grant me the gift of faith that comes from searching. Cleanse my life from all which negates and crushes out faith and fill it with purity and honesty which foster it. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Samuel Shoemaker in Daily Prayer Companion)

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).

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Psalm 91

Romans 10:8b-13

Luke 4:1-13

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

A reading for meditation – 

Our Quaker friends have much to teach us in the way of silence. The following quotations are taken from the little classic, A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION, by Thomas R. Kelly:

“… the Living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders. God the Lover, the accuser, the revealer of light and darkness presses within us. ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’ And all our apparent initiative is already a response, a testimonial to His secret presence and working within us.

“The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. The secret places of the heart cease to be our noisy workshop. They become a holy sanctuary of adoration and of self-oblation, where we are kept in perfect peace, if our minds be stayed on Him who had found us in the inward springs of our life … In the Center of Creation all things are ours, and we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”

~ from A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION by Thomas R. Kelly

Hymn for the Week – “It Is Well with My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)

Benediction – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power at work within me, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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