What Does Sacred Reading Look Like?

In my last post, we explored the spiritual discipline of sacred reading. Today I’d like to show you an example of what this looks like from my journal entries. I’m certainly not an expert on this, but sometimes it helps to see what a discipline looks like for someone else when you’re trying to learn it yourself. On this particular day, I read from Colossians 4:5-8. I was following along with my church as we were doing a study on the book of Colossians. So, using the four steps of sacred reading 1) Read, 2) Reflect, 3) Respond and 4) Rest, this is what my entry looked like that for that day.

1) Read. The part of scripture that jumped out to me was “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time,” and “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how to answer each one.”

2) Reflect. The answer to the question, Where do I see myself in this passage? was that I felt like God was talking about the importance of time and making the most of the opportunities He gives us. Also, the thought that God wants us to spend some time evaluating our speech–about the words that come out of our mouths on a daily basis–seemed to jump out to me too.

3) Respond. In this third step of sacred reading, I had to pray about how God wanted me to personally respond to the scripture. In this case, I felt like God was telling me to get braver about sharing my faith in those opportunities that He gives me–not to force it, but to watch for the opportunities the Holy Spirit opens up and then be obedient and follow through. I can be shy to share this part of my life with strangers, because of how I might appear. God was convicting me to get past the obsession of worrying that others might think of me as weird if I talked to them about Jesus.

Next, I also felt like God was showing me to pray about my words to others, especially to my husband, Mark. I was being patient with other people, but not so much with him, the most important person in my life. God was telling me to build him up with my words, not tear him down.

4) Rest. During this time, I just sat quietly and reflected on what I had learned. I also wrote a short synopsis on a sticky note so that I didn’t forget that day’s lesson. Then I stuck it right in front of me while I was working in my office. Finally, I  thanked God for His wisdom and prayed for help to do make the changes that I needed to make.

I’ve found the practice of sacred reading to be so valuable in teaching me and continuing to mold me into the person Christ wants me to be.

I hope you do too!

Pray on!

Image: nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Heavenly Airwaves

I was reading a Grace Livingston Hill book recently (old-fashioned fiction stories). In her book one of her characters is wondering about how prayer works. The character had recently come through a dangerous situation safely, and after a friend told her he had been praying for her, she was wondering if that friend’s prayers could have specifically worked to help keep her safe. This is what the character was thinking.

“Was prayer perhaps like the radio, just as sounds were stored up in the air, so perhaps prayers were hovering about on their way to and from God?”

What an interesting way this is of looking at prayer! I love the visual this put into my mind of millions of prayers floating around in the air on their way to the throne of God. Romans 8:26-28 tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, so we know that prayers are also directed to us from heaven. It’s a two-way street of prayers on a heavenly highway!

This quote on prayer from a fictional character really started me thinking about how God may use our prayers. I wonder if the prayers that are prayed on our behalf are at some point hovering around us in a hedge of protection. When we pray for our children or spouse, do those prayers envelop them as they go about their days? As we pray for other countries, do those prayers gather forces with the prayers others have prayed to “cushion” that country?

What must the heavenly airwaves look like with all the prayers of the saints?

I wish we could see it. What do you think?

Pray on!