A LIVELY SET of spiritual practices is also crucial to becoming better friends with God. Spiritual teachers in the East and West point out the benefits of a steady diet of practice as the way to open up the soul to the Other. It’s hard to develop a friendship if you rarely spend time with your friend! Christian spiritual disciplines like lectio divina, examen, Bible study, spiritual reading, worship, and contemplative prayer afford us space to listen to our first and best Friend. Conversational prayer throughout the day, as well as breath prayers and the repetition of the Jesus Prayer, increases our connection to a gracious God who is invisibly near. We remember Brother Lawrence, who turned to God throughout the day even in the most mundane of tasks. At first he had to bring conscious effort to an ongoing awareness of God’s presence, but over time it became a habit — the natural outgrowth of regular practice.
– Stephanie Ford
Kindred Souls: Connecting through Spiritual Friendship
From pages 89-90 of Kindred Souls: Connecting through Spiritual Friendship by Stephanie Ford. Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Ford. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Do you practice a spiritual discipline? What would you tell a friend about it? Share your thoughts.
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
Isaiah 40:22-23, NRSV
This Week: Pray for those suffering from natural disasters. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Brigid of Ireland (February 1).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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