BUURRRRRR! It is chilly in Tennessee this morning! I woke up, threw on my sweatshirt, pulled on my socks and shivered into the kitchen for my coffee. There is something about warm coffee on a cold morning. You can feel it warm your entire body as you take that first sip. This radiating warmth is how I feel about contemplative practice. It quickens my soul. I am not pretending that I always welcome it with a pep in my step but much as you don’t waaaant to get out of bed, once you sip that hot coffee you are set in motion and energized for the day.
Contemplative practice ignites your soul and sets your intentions for the day aligning you with The Creator, the ultimate power and peace. Differing from Bible study, the intention is being with God rather than learning or performing for Him. Learning will occur but that is not the main purpose. This can feel foreign to many of us- lean into that tension. Bible study is a necessary part of the Christian journey, but so is communion with God.
My challenge for you today is ten minutes. Carve out ten minutes at some point today for this practice. Set a reminder and timer if needed. Open yourself up to the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit.
It is ideal if you can get outside for the practice but if that is not an option try and find a quiet place. You don’t need any materials for this but if you would like a journal, feel free. The goal today is to enter the practice and BE with The Lord. Starting contemplative practice can sort of feel like a baby deer wobbling around for the first time, it feels awkward but soon the more you engage the practices you will get your stride.
Today we are going to start with the Be Still Prayer, from Psalm 46:10. Praying scripture is powerful and goes far beyond words of man. Settle yourself into your seat or position. Take a few deep breaths, setting your mind on The Lord. I like to pick a visual-something that reminds me of God. ie. Jesus’s face, a shield, a lion, a lamb. This visual can serve as an anchor of sorts. If your mind starts to wander you can gently come back to your visual. Quieting our minds is part of the practice so there is no judgment for your mind bouncing about-just gently bring it back to your visual.
Be Still Prayer
Sit in an upright, attentive posture in a way that allows for an erect spine and open heart. Place hands in your lap. Recognize your body and its presence.
Gently close your eyes and bring to mind your sacred image. If your mind wanders during your time, just gently bring it back to your image and your words.
Start to say Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God. Now pause as you speak those words and reflect on whatever comes to mind that you want to bring to God today. Breathe in and out, naturally.
Now say: Be still and know that I am. Sit and reflect. No rush take as much time as you need.
Now breathing deep say: Be still and know.
Now say: Be still. Each time pausing and reflecting, taking time with the Lord.
Lastly say: Be.
You can do this repetition as many times as you need or would like during your time with the Lord.