Faithfulness to God, not Culture—Seeking the Good Life
Our First Practice: Prayer
Summary by Mary Ann Holtz, June 10, 2013
At worship on June 2, 2013, Joe gave a talk inviting our Missio Dei community into a 5 week exploration of a Rule of Life as a path to living the Good Life. A Rule of Life is a set of very specific, concrete practices we might craft individually and as a community which will help us keep 4 things in focus and in balance: Prayer, Rest, Community, and Work.
Yesterday, June 9, 2013, Joe’s talk explored what our experiences have been with prayer and how we might experiment with several prayer practices individually and as a way to connect with each other daily.
Below are a few of the key points from Joe’s talk, including his call to us to join in 3 daily prayer practices, taking a total of 10 minutes of our day.
The heart of PRAYER is conscious fellowship with God.
Richard Rohr says it this way, “Prayer is being loved at a deep level”
Whether you know it or not – this is your deepest longing: To just be with your Father, creator, who loves you so much.
I’VE WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING FOR A LONG TIME AS A CHURCH:
We all organize our days around a lot of things: work, school, activities, family time, church, all kinds of things. And that’s fine…that’s unavoidable. Christians through the ages have practiced stopping when the bells ring to pray. We need to find a way to let the bells ring, and then we stop what we’re doing & pray.
I want us to try something very, very simple as a church.
I want us to synchronize…set our alarms for 12:00 noon every day.
When it goes off, stop what you are doing, pray the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:2-4 which was the way Jesus taught the disciples to pray) and then consciously be in the presence of God for a few moments (Matthew 6:6-8).
And I want to invite you again to practice 2 other prayers daily:
2 minutes of solitude, 2 times a day.
In the Morning: find a window in your house
Set a timer for 2 minutes. Look outside (or go outside). All you do is be mindful of your breathing and be mindful of the presence of God in this moment.
Don’t think about the past, don’t worry about the future, just abide in the present.
Just stand there & breathe with God for 2 minutes.
Then go on about your day.
Then again in the evening: Find comfortable place to sit, in solitude.
Set you timer for 2 minutes. Place a chair in front of you.
Invite God to sit with you. Be mindful of your breathing, and mindful of the presence of God with you. Don’t think about the past, don’t worry about the future, sit in the presence of God for 2 minutes, and then get up & go on about your evening.
Just think with me for a moment…of the power of an entire church body, who in the midst of a crazy-busy, time-starved, push it to the limit culture…just stops what they are doing 3 times a day, they pause, say a quick prayer, they sit for a moment in the presence of a loving God.
This simple act of prayer could change us as a church.
You know why this is important? Cause it all comes down to this
-we are created to participate in God’s redemption of the world
-Our reason for living is not to get all we want out of life
-Our life isn’t about “I, me, mine.”
Our reason for living is to participate in God’s redemption of the world
-That’s who we are – that’s why we’re here.
-How will we ever do that if we aren’t transformed people?
-How will we be transformed if we don’t have a deep rich life of prayer?
-How will we participate in that mission if we don’t spend time with God?
The path to being transformed is through a deep meaningful relationship with God – like a child with a loving parent.
That’s why we say that at its heart:
-PRAYER is conscious fellowship with God.
-PRAYER is being loved at a deep level.