There are limitless ways of praying when we approach prayer as relationship with God. All the different ways we relate to people –doing things together, speaking and listening, silence, appreciating others, imagining what could be – are ways we can be with God.
Explore how you imagine God.
Write down the key thoughts, ways and places you experience the Trinity in your everyday life. Based on your experience, who is God? You may have heard of Casting Crowns song “Life song” and the line ‘may my life’s song sing to You’. Reflect on your life and what it sings out – to others, to God. You might choose one recent experience where you felt strong emotion, and ask ‘what do my thoughts, reactions and responses here say about how I actually see God?’ Based on your recent key thoughts, words and actions, desires and hopes – what does your life tell about how you see God?
How does God want to be seen by you? Begin ‘noticing what you notice’ in your ‘walking around’ everyday life. At day’s end, reflect on what God might be revealing of Gods Self to you.
Thank God for revealing himself to you.
Super slow or holy reading
‘We read, under the eye of God until the heart is touched and leaps to flame.’
[Dom Marmion a French Benedictine monk].
As you read inspirational material stop! at any word or phrase that grabs your attention. Consider how these words connect emotionally or experientially with you. Just as a bee might drink nectar from a flower, burrowing more deeply to its centre for thirst and desire for more, explore the word or phrase from as many angles as come to you, delving ever deeper. Speak from your heart within these layers and hear God’s gentle true voice responding to you. What is God asking of you or showing you? Decide what action you might take in response to this conversation. (Examples of such conversations can be found in the Psalms.)
*An example of a sacred reading passage can be found at the end of this article.
Examining our day with God
In order to become more aware of God’s presence and activity in your life, reflect over the day and think about how you responded to God. Let God begin this conversation - this takes humility, stillness and patience. First, find a quiet solitary place where you won’t be disturbed.
Beginning with silence, allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anything from the day the Spirit wants to explore. It might be a thought, a conversation, an action or emotion you experienced. Discuss this thing with God, responding with piercing honesty, receptiveness and vulnerability. Remember, the Spirit’s fruit (love, joy, peace, patience etc) will confirm if your conversation is indeed with God, Who seeks to build up, heal, forgive and bring wholeness to us. God empowers us to do right, to be right with God, others and self.
What are you grateful for today?
Next consider “what do I really want for myself today?”
Try not to censor your hopes and desires. Honesty is what God values! Allow the Spirit to search out and know your desires, testing and renewing them. What would be absolutely great and wise in your life right now?
Now, time for admitting stuff: be honest and patient with yourself. Remember you are still learning to grow in your ability to love. Today, what choices have been inadequate responses to loving others, God and self? Allow the Spirit to raise specific things from your day. Speak together about it. What attitude toward yourself and others does God seek as you bring your confession?
Finally, ask for hope: for help and guidance for tomorrow. Enjoy God’s restful presence.
Gay serves as the Pastoral Care Worker for our Tranzsend team.
*Sacred Reading Example
Knowing and Being Known - ‘Knowing God’ by J. I Packer p 41 -42
“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.
This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort – the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates – in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love, and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow- men do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose. We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know, not merely that we know God, but that He knows us.”