The Practical Disciple - Part 66

Centering Prayer Basics

In a prior post I spoke about the value of learning to become still before God. The simplest prayer form that I have encountered for learning to do this is an old monastic prayer form called Centering Prayer. I first encountered centering prayer as a college student on a retreat at a trappist monastery during holy week. A Trappist monk Basil Pennington was there and each day he took time to center with us and talk to us about prayer. It was a rather formative experience. In short centering pray is as follows:

1) Select a word that has significant meaning for your relationship with God. It can be a favored name or expression for God such as, Jesus, Spirit, God, Yahweh, Lord, etc. or

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Stewardship through Saving

A friend and an earnest believer whose blog I have come to enjoy, recently posted an article “56 ways to save money.” You can check out these really practical suggestions for enhancing your stewardship of God’s resources at her blog Way to go Courtney on helping us all with some invaluable how-to help on managing our finances.

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More on Fatigue

I had a “well duh!” moment the other day. This whole business of fatigue effecting people’s ability to focus has brought sharply into view my lack of what I would call ‘body holiness’. In short, honoring God through taking good care of the physical being he has given us. We are but stewards of even our bodies. My “well duh” moment was the realization of how much body holiness must actually matter to God. One the premiere commandments, the Sabbath, is God’s way of helping us maintain a healthy rhythm of work and rest. Similarly, much of the early law was totally dietary and intended for our physical, mental, and spiritual being. If God takes time to instruct us so much around these

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Focus, Fatigue and Prayer

Nearly a year ago I made my first post on this site and noted that two issues repeatedly are voiced by people regarding prayer: finding the time and being able to focus. Those two issues have been difficult hurdles for me during my Lenten journey. On those days when I have allowed the demands of life to shove my hour of prayer literally to the eleven hour, I have found myself torn between sleep and prayer. At times, I found myself nodding while speaking prayers out loud. I wonder if this is the experience the disciples had in the garden of Gethsemane moments before Jesus fateful arrest. His words to them come to me, “Couldn’t you just sit with me one hour?” Apparently

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Prayer Song-lines

I am an instructor for a non-profit school that teaches nature observation, tracking and wilderness skills. One key concern we have for people particularly new to wandering in the woods is making sure that they don’t get lost. We teach several ‘lost proofing’ techniques. Among them is a technique in which you use a song-line to help you remember the landscape. As you walk along you identify land feature and weave a story out of those land features. For instance, you might see a very bent tree that reminds you of a little old man, and then a short distance to the east of it is a series of rocks that look like rabbits running away. So you might begin your song line, “There

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12 Powerful Prayer Aids

So what makes for powerful prayer? How come we pray about somethings and God’s seems overwhelming responsive and other things appear all but ignored? There are no easy answers to this, but in order to have a vibrant pray life it helps to understand factors or patterns that seem to turn up the volume on our prayers. Here are 12 dynamics of prayer that I have recognized as playing some role in the authenticity and efficacy of our prayers.

1. Visualize what you pray for using all of your senses
2. When praying for enemies pray for their health and happiness or God’s best for them and pray daily for at least two weeks.
3. Be specific with God, but open to however God may answer.

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