Days of Preparation: Week Three/Session One.
Theme: The Intimacy of Prayer.
Our reading for today: Luke 11: 1-3.
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11: 1 (MsgB)
In recent weeks, as Sandy and I have been in training; working toward the fine art of Christ-centered spiritual direction, I’ve been attempting to do more Lectio Divina.
Lectio Divina is a strange sounding phrase to many, but quite honestly, it simply means “divine reading.” In truth, Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual discipline used by followers of Christ for centuries and is a simple exercise that encourages the reader to slow down with their Bible-reading, allowing plenty of time to reflect and respond to the words we are reading. As I see it, Lectio Divina simply gives the Holy Spirit much more opportunity to breathe life upon God’s Word; and in this fast-paced ‘git-r-done’ society in which we live, giving God more time to speak to me is something I know I need very badly in my busy life!
Today I’m practicing the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina with our assigned passage in Luke 1; a passage very familiar to most Christians and often called the Lord’s Prayer. John Wimber, my mentor, would often say that this title (the Lord’s Prayer) actually mis-represents the passage. In truth, the prayer found in this passage is offered by Jesus to His followers, and in Wimber’s viewpoint, the prayer might better be known as the Disciple’s Prayer.
Either way, I’d like to share with you my ‘Lectio Divina’ reflections on this well-known text, bringing to it the personal touches that now make it My Lord’s Prayer. Might this exercise encourage you to begin the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina as we begin these Spiritual Exercises, giving God more time to release His life in you as you reflect upon the Holy Scriptures.
My prayer: My blessed Father in Heaven. You are everything. The Holy Creator. King of the Universe. Set apart above all others.
Your Kingdom, Father; Your right to rule and reign, is forever and ever. Establish Your reign here in my generation, in my time, in my life today. Make this present moment coincide with all that is good. May Your Holy Heaven invade this present darkness, turning death into life; unbelief into faith; despair into hope; and hatred into love. Your will, Poppa, not mine.
Release from above, Father, all that I need to live, breathe and function as Your beloved child here on this desolate, dying planet. Today’s provision is vital to me and I trust that You know that, and will provide for me and my household abundantly so that we, in turn, might be a blessing to others. Forgive me; release me; embrace me into Your agape love today. May I live freely and simply, holding no bitterness or grudges against You, others, or myself. Spirit, empower me to forgive, release and embrace others in the same manner You do for me. Freely forgiven, may I freely forgive.
Self-centeredness, self-preservation, self-promotion, and self-perpetuation sit on my doorstep today, O Lord. Deliver me from myself. Give me eyes to see the fleshly temptations and the strength to walk away from them.
Deliver me, as well, from evil as it attempts to draw me into its’ snares. Keep me, Lord, in my right mind, so that I learn the fine art of practicing Your presence while mastering my life through the use of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. Gifts that have been made available to me by the precious blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
I pray this prayer, Abba Father, because You are, indeed, the Supreme Being at the Center of the Universe. Yours is the Kingdom. Yours is the power. To Your Christ, alone, be the glory and honor. Forever and ever.
For Your name’s sake. Yes and Amen.
My questions to ponder: So, what might it look like for me to slow down my reading of the Holy Scriptures? And as I do, what am I sensing around me as I pray? Might the Holy Spirit become more active in my life if I’d give Him more time to whisper in my ear as I read the Word more slowly?
So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together The Ignatian Adventure?
Over an eight month period, you and I will be working our way through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. For more information on our journey and how to begin…click here!
To go onto the next journal entry…click here.