contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Creating Sacred Space with Evening and Morning Prayer

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Our Daily Grind

We know we need to pray, but it alludes us in our breakneck, busy lives. The only way out is to create our own sacred space in our evening and morning worlds. We create a new ordering of life, a sacred ordering through our prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

We do this through spiritual states and stages. States being what we enter into but don’t dwell in. This is like a good worship service, or walking with God in the cool of the day, or a pilgrimage to a holy place. Stages are where we dwell. It’s where we co-dwell with Jesus, living in the Spirit, abiding in the vine. It’s a continuing expanded awareness, that actually rewires our brainwaves along with everything else.

Growing and creating spirituality in our lives is a process and a daily journey rather than an event or mere daily rituals.

Forms and practices can help direct or even engage us, but they’re not big enough for our spirit. They’re actually motivated by our thirsty spirit for more of heaven in more of us. It’s like oxygen for the soul.

Establishing a Daily Practice

If it’s not fun, we’re not going to do it.

So my criteria is “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” If there’s no joy in it, I don’t do it. Religion looks great, but it’ll squeeze the joy right out of you. God however, promises us abundant life. I don’t know about you, but the springs of abundant life are what I want to drink from.

Always Start With A Vision

Always start with your end game. What are you trying to accomplish?  My goal is that I want more love, peace, and joy in my life. I want to hear the voice of my Father.

Life’s a mess, so I don’t much care about how messy my daily practice is. I just want to enter in. It doesn’t have to be all that orderly for me. Now I  use the forms of Morning and Evening Prayer,  but I don’t have to go through the whole form, even though I generally do. My goal is learning to practice, or exercise my spirit. This is where we tap into the good stuff. This is where we enter mindfulness. This is where we enter in, cross the threshold, and come into the presence of God.

Now, here’s something you need to know about disciplines.

Your habits, for good or ill, will carry you further than you ever intended to go. 

Our Post-Modern Dilemma

Before the invention of the light bulb and computer screens, people normally went to bed early and rose early. We lived according to the natural rhythm of sunrises and sunsets. The Jewish day actually begins at sundown with rest. It’s how we’re designed to begin our day, with rest.

Today however, we’re sleep deprived and running on empty. We take great pride in cramming more and more into our busy day. The great illusion blows apart when we break down.

Building Spirit Into Your Daily Life

The spiritual life always begins with rest, resting in God, and resting in Christ’s finished work. It’s abiding in the vine…Being, sending our roots deeper into the depths of God’s mercy and grace.

This is what spiritual practice is about. The more we learn to rest in God, the more we learn to live out of that rest, and walk with Him. Restoration how God transforms us from the inside out. Taking time captive to eternity is what we’re doing in our morning and evening prayers.

Taking time captive to eternity is what we’re doing in our morning and evening prayers. It’s where we release our burdens and everything we are into God’s hands and rest in God. We soak in God’s presence before we can practice it.

The disciplines of prayer, meditation and contemplation are the vehicles we use to enter in with Jesus.

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  • Susan Stewart

    There is so much in this …. to re-read, take note, absorb, adapt. Thank you, Brother.

  • My pleasure Susan!

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