First Steps – February 10, 2020

A few months ago, someone asked me about cultivating a more meaningful prayer
life.  We talked about what that meant, what steps to take, and what to expect during the process. Reflecting on that conversation made me think of this quote from an anonymous Russian Orthodox writer from the 19th Century:

     “Silently descend into the depths of you heart. Call on the name of the Jesus Christ frequency. This is the way to experience interior illumination. Many things will become clear to you, even the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. You will discover a depth of mystery, a brightness, when you learn to descend [inwardly].
     The truth is:  we are aliens to ourselves. We have little desire to know ourselves. We run after many things in this world, and by doing so run away from ourselves. We exchange truth for trinkets. We kid ourselves [by thinking] I would like to have time for prayer and the spiritual life, but the cares and demands of life take all my time and energy.
     Which is more important?  Which is temporary?  Which is eternal?  Making this decision will lead you to wisdom or keep you in ignorance.
     Prayer is the heart of the Christian life.  It is essential.  Prayer is both the first step and the fulfillment of the devout life. We are directed to pray always.  Particular times may be set for other acts of devotion, but for prayer there is no special time.  We are to pray constantly.  
     Sit alone in a quiet place.  Take your mind away from every earthly and vain thing.  Bow your head to your chest and be attentive, not to your head, but to your heart.  Observe your breathing.  Let your mind find the place of your heart.  At first you will be uncomfortable.  If you continue without interruption it will become a joy.
     The most wonderful result of this kind of mental silence is that sinful thought which comes knocking at the door of the mind are turned away.  Pray and think what you will.  Pray and do what you want.  Your thoughts and activity will be purified by prayer.” 

I like the underlined portion. Sit alone in a quiet place, reflect on God’s love for you. Consider how He sustains all things. Invite the Holy Spirit to move you to a place of peace and joy. 


This week’s reading:

  • Monday –  Romans 7
  • Tuesday – Romans 8
  • Wednesday – Romans 9
  • Thursday – Romans 10
  • Friday – Romans 11

Please Pray for:.

  • The St. Paul UMC family.
  • Those who are unwillingly absent.
  • Those who are grieving and depressed.
  • The United Methodist Church.
  • Our nation and our leaders.
  • The World.
  • The Lost.