Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Prayer Practice of Silence- a Journaling exercise

Here's what I did with my youth tonight at UMYF and I thought that I'd pass the idea to anyone else who might enjoy using it- for personal use or groups. I actually used it this morning with a fifth and sixth grade sunday school class and then this evening with 7th-12th graders. Both experiences went well. It is a reflection on Psalm 46, which is the lectionary psalm for today. Also, for music to go along with the prayer experience check out: "Blessed are the Peacemakers", an ambient song that I composed for tonight's experience. You are welcome to use that too if you like.

"Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God”

Silence and solitude seems foreign to most of us, but it can be a gift from God. It is a chance to step of traffic- the traffic of our busy lives that has us constantly on the move. When practiced regularly- silence and solitude becomes a powerful means to experiencing the presence of God. During the next 10-20 mintues you are invited to STEP OUT OF THE TRAFFIC of your life and simply sit in the presence of God and to “take a long loving look.”


Find a quiet place where you can be by yourself. Think about all the activities that have gone on through the week- think of the good and not so good, the stressful and relaxing, the hard and easy things. As you see each of these things, begin to put your mind at rest. Try and relax and begin to try and center your self.

Allow a couple of minutes to simply
BE in God's presence, clearing your mind, relaxing your body, and opening your heart.

If there are things that continue to come into your thoughts simply write them out here and know that you can come back to them later:


“Attention, all! See the marvels of GOD! God plants flowers and trees all over the earth, bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across his knee.”

Have you noticed God in God's creation lately? Who has been “Jesus” for you recently? In what ways have you been “Jesus” for someone else recently?
PERSPECTIVE: seeing Christ work in the world through the actions of others is a matter of perspective. The more you look for the love of Jesus through the actions of others- the more you will clearly see God's love in the world. The more “you” are the hands and heart of Jesus for someone else- the more you will experience God's blessings.
What can do you need to do in order to see the presence of God more clearly in the world today? What are some things you can do to be the heart and hands of Jesus for others?

“God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains.”

When we are able to sit in God's presence and simply quiet our souls and selves then we become open to receiving God's comfort and peace- even during the hardest storms we face.
During this time, sit and say this prayer over and over to yourself for a few minutes:
(breath in): “God is a safe place”
(breathe out): “Ready to help when I need him”
After you have done the breath prayer write down joys and concerns that you'd like to lift up to God. You can write them like you're writing a letter to God or you can simply write them out.



Read Psalm 46- 2 times through
Pick a word or phrase that stands out to you- and write in the space below. After you have your word/phrase ask God- how are you calling me to apply this word or phrase into my life this week?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Americans need to slow wayyyy down. Journal-keeping is a good way to learn to be silent and still, to listen and talk with God. I talk about that in my book Journal Keeper. --Margaret D. Smith