A Time and Place for Spiritual Practice

Monday, May 27

5.27By Candy Brayton of Independence, Missouri, USA

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

—Isaiah 61:11

In this fast-paced era, it can be difficult to set aside time for thoughtful, deliberate prayer. We settle for quick prayers for safe travel, hurried blessings for our fast-food, and only a minute spent on our e-mailed prayer lists. Nothing is wrong with that, but God sometimes desires a deep conversation with us that is longer than 140 characters with spaces.

It shames me to admit, but I just recently, finally, put forth the effort to have a regular time for prayer. I’m the person for whom the saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true. To correct that, I have set aside a small area in my home to use as sacred space.

Occupying this space is a decorative cloth, a candle, rocks placed to form a cross, a journal, and a book of daily devotionals. I see this first in the morning and last at night. Each morning I begin by lighting the candle and thanking God for another day. I read the daily devotional and follow the spiritual practice.

In the evening, I write in my journal blessings for which I am most grateful and what I’d like to change in my life. If I have specific concerns, I then speak to God about them. I finish by thanking God again for another day. I snuff out the candle, taking its light with me throughout the day. This prayer time takes about fifteen minutes.

Be creative with your sacred space. Customize it to fit you. Add a chime or flowers. Decide if it’s to be for personal use or for the whole family. You could even set up space for family worship and personal space for each family member. Plant the seeds now and reap the results for a lifetime.

Prayer for Peace
When we pray to you, God, we are in sacred space. Help us discipline our prayer life with regularity. Help us sow seeds of spiritual practices that we may draw on when we are low. May our prayer-life make us strong in our faith and in our sharing of Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Connecting with God as Center
Connect with God through journal writing or contemplation. Open yourself to God’s presence and share what flows from your heart and mind. Your “communication with God” might include thoughts, questions, feelings, needs, artwork, quotes, or scriptures. Or it might take the form of a prayer, psalm, or poem. Try to write or meditate at least five minutes each day.

What do you experience? Is this an effective way to connect with God? What surprises you? What new God images or questions emerge? What deepens or changes in your relationship with God, Christ, Spirit?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will set aside time to pray and return there every day.

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