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: Silence
Opening Prayer: (prayer every day for this week from Howard Thurman in The Growing Edge) – O God, O God, my Father, I have no words, no words by which I dare express the things that stir within me. I lay bare myself, my world, before you in quietness. Brood over my spirit with your great tenderness and understanding and judgment, so that I will find, in some strange new way, strength for my weakness, health for my illness, guidance for my journey: This is the stirring of my heart, O God, my Father. 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).
Monday: Revelation 3:20-22
Tuesday: James 3:1-12
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 5:1-3
Thursday: I Kings 19:9-13
Friday: Psalm 46
Saturday: John 10:1-15
Read this quote each day…slowly…what is God saying to you about your own journey through this quote?
A reading for meditation –
Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all that we see is beautiful and attractive. This is undoubtedly part of the reason we flee silence. We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy, our phoniness. We see how false and fragile is the false self we project. We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self. It is a harrowing journey, a death to self — the false self — and no one wants to die. But it is the only path to life, to freedom, to peace, to true love. And it begins with silence. We cannot give ourselves in love if we do not know and possess ourselves. This is the great value of silence. It is the pathway to all we truly want.
~ M. Basil Pennington
Hymn: “Be Still My Soul”
Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end
Be still my soul when dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears
Then shalt thou better know His love His heart
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears
Be still my soul the waves and winds shall know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below
Be still my soul the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot love’s purest joys restored
Be still my soul when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last
Songwriters: David T. Clydesdale / Jean Sibelius / Katharina Von Schlegel
Benediction – by Thomas a Kempis
A Prayer for the Grace of Devotion
O Lord my God, You are all my good. And who am I that I should dare to speak to You? I am Your poorest and meanest servant, a vile worm, much more poor and contemptible than I know or dare to say. Yet remember me, Lord, because I am nothing, I have nothing, and I can do nothing. You alone are good, just, and holy. You can do all things, You give all things, You fill all things: only the sinner do You leave empty-handed. Remember Your tender mercies and fill my heart with Your grace, You Who will not allow Your works to be in vain. How can I bear this life of misery unless You comfort me with Your mercy and grace? Do not turn Your face from me. Do not delay Your visitation. Do not withdraw Your consolation, lest in Your sight my soul become as desert land. Teach me, Lord, to do Your will. Teach me to live worthily and humbly in Your sight, for You are my wisdom Who know me truly, and Who knew me even before the world was made and before I was born into it. Amen.