So… the other evening I was “breaking bread” (actually it was sushi – but same concept) with a few friends from my faith community.
As we sipped our wine and enjoyed half-priced Sushi night, we began to talk about worship. One of my friends mentioned how very much she enjoyed participating in communion every week and that even watching the others in our congregation being served the Sacraments is such a Holy Moment.
Another friend chimed in that truly Holy Communion is one of those “thin places“. Of course, we all were immediately intrigued and asked him to explain more about “thin places”.
He explained how C.S. Lewis (one of my very favorite thinkers and writers) would write and speak of the thin places – where heaven and earth intermingle. I made the comment that I wish we could just live in that thin place – where not so much divides and keeps us from connecting to God and each other.
It’s just that I’m not always quite sure how to get there – much less stay there. I’ve experienced thin places throughout my life – from early childhood memories of my Mom and church pianist playing beautiful songs about the Blood of Jesus while communion was being served and wondering how wordless moments could be so powerful to breathtaking nature encounters when I’ve been absolutely certain that Maker painted a particular sunrise or sunset just for me.
But, even in the much-mystery that clouds our every day lives and deters us from entering those thin spaces – I will still seek to learn what an abiding life (see John 15) – that sweet communion with the Maker of our souls -truly looks like.
Today, I started a YouVersion Bible App 5 Day reading plan called, “Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God”. Wow…. did that every strike a chord with what this heart of mine longs for!
In case I’m not the only one who wants to learn to better hear the voice of God – for direction, for peace, for joy, for so-very-much, – I’ve included this link for you to join me in this study over the next 5 days.
I love the new feature of YouVersion that allows you to go through a reading plan with others. All you do is read the short devotional thoughts and Bible verses and then you can leave your thoughts and comments if you want.
Today I started posting on Instagram a short prayer to go along with the Scripture focus on my heart for the day. Feel free to join me in applying God’s Word and praying it back to our Good, Good Father. Here’s today’s post:Today’s #instaprayer is inspired by James 2:1-4. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
I was so blessed to participate in #ConquerConference2016 and spend an afternoon with some beautiful women as we learned together how to better hear the voice of our #GoodGoodFather through #AbidingPrayer. And the beautiful church we were in recorded our breakout session – so you are more than welcome to join us through the power of technology.
(The information below was included on the handout mentioned in the conference video).
Thank you for joining me in this journey of learning to pray and live from a position of “pre-paid” connection with the only source of Truth and LIFE rather than from a position of constant seeking and chasing for blessings and answers from God.
Key Verse: “If _________________ abides in me, and my words abide in _________________, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for _____________.” –John 15:7
(Write your name in the blank instead of “You”)
Meditate daily on Key Passage, John 15:1-11.
Also, dig deep into the whole “root system” of God’s word by finding other passages referencing the same or similar concept of abiding, staying, or uniting with God.
Commit the passages that touch you most deeply to memory. Write personalized confessions based on these passages and speak them out.
Checking where you are praying from is just as important as how you pray. Visualize your position in Him (whatever reminder picture He puts on your heart that helps you see yourself as a much loved daughter who has always had her Father’s ear).
Don’t be afraid of imagination and visualization in your Prayers. God is the author of these concepts – not the new age movement. Consistency combined with a passionate listening style of prayer that incorporates all of the senses God gave you will change prayer from a task that may or may not produce results to a lifestyle of powerful connection with your Creator.
Abide In Christ: A 31-Day Devotional for Fellowship with Jesus – Andrew Murray
The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
God Is Closer than You Think – John Ortberg
Fervent – Priscilla Shirer
Hosting the Presence – Bill Johnson
Seeing is Believing: Experiencing Jesus through Imaginative Prayer – Greg A Boyd
When you don’t see God in your situation – it doesn’t mean He’s not right there in the middle of it. It means you simply may not be aware He is in the middle of it.
To illustrate this point, take a look at this little video and do what it asks. How’s your focus? Can you count the correct number of basketballs with so much else going on? What spiritual principles can be applied?
Hope this helps you #ThinkDifferently about what you are focused on. Just because you look at something doesn’t mean you’re getting the whole picture.