Drawing CloserNew Every Morning | March 27, 2022
In the midst of their earnest desire for God, wise ammas and abbas recognized how seemingly holy habits could sometimes distance them from God and one another. It was one thing to undertake a spiritual practice—fasting, prayer, vigils, and the like—for the purpose of drawing closer to God; quite another to allow these practices to become a point of pride, an occasion for competition, a source of division, or a cause for lack of hospitality to a guest. They learned that the forces they sometimes described as demons often loved to hide in the very practices that the desert folk pursued with such diligence.
—Jan L. Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer (Upper Room Books, 2010)
How can you shift your attitude when a “holy habit” becomes a point of pride rather than a way of drawing closer to God?
Join the conversation.
But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
—James 4:6 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
We are waking, God.
We are waking,
and we pray
that we may know you
as manna in the desert,
wellsprings in the wilderness,
honey from the rock,
O God our habitation
and our way.
—Jan L. Richardson, “Prayer for the Morning,” In the Sanctuary of Women
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Aren’t sure if spiritual direction is for you? Sacred Conversation, the latest release from Upper Room Books, explains what spiritual direction is and what it isn’t. Author Marsha Crockett invites you to experience the possibility of transformation as you ponder the gifts offered by the grace of God with the help of a spiritual director. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
Asking God to help you know when you are off the path and need correction would help this situation. There are times when we make mistakes without knowing.
Revisited several days worth of posts yesterday and wrote a long message to the NEM family, got a message I was writing too fast, the action I took deleted the message. Know that I am concerned fir all of you and lifted you up Thank You, Lord.
I would ask God to show me if a spiritual practice was becoming a point of pride. I do try to stay mindful that this can occur, as I have hurt others close to me.
Robert, that has happened to me a couple of times trying to post. I think its a glitch in the system. Thanks for your prayers!
Our church had a potluck lunch today and we planned to go, but David had a low blood sugar spell and then some shortness of breath last night. Concerning because he had pain between his shoulder blades. He was very tired this morning, so we ended up staying home. David still tires easily and we volunteered with our church’s Lenten project yesterday, making lunches for a local ministry to give out to those in need. He was pretty tired when we got home. He doesn’t have a Dr. appt. Scheduled until his physical in June. I will encourage him to try for an appointment this week, just to rule out anything. Please pray that if he has any more symptoms, I can get him to go to ER. He internalizes our financial issues and blames himself. he gets really stressed out.
Know that my prayers are with you all. Have a wonderful Sunday.
I am very careful to speak about my spiritual practices. My time with God is sacred and needs to remain between He and I. The routines, habits, practices which help me draw closer to Him and prepare for the day ahead are mostly treasured deep inside of me and not spoken of. I don’t offer information, but if someone asks, I will share. Yes, Ally, asking God to make us aware of our pride – it is essential. I feel like my pride won’t allow me to recognize it.
A retired teacher friend and I took in the musical Pretty Woman this afternoon in Cleveland. I enjoyed it much more than expected. It was very entertaining. We grabbed a quick dinner at a Thai place by her house and I got home in time to tend to Roger. Very rarely do I attend live theater or things of that nature – this was a pleasant delight. Such talent on stage.
Will try to do some grading, while laundry is in the washing machine. Need to get some schoolwork done before I walk through my classroom door tomorrow. My evaluation is Wednesday morning. It was nice to focus on something utterly different today – hope it refreshens me for the week ahead.
Church was thought provoking this morning, as an assistant pastor taught on Heaven. Our lead pastor is recovering from pneumonia, so we have had our two assistant pastors in the pulpit these past two Sundays.