Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Solitude and Silence

I'll finish up the summer Bible study at my church tomorrow and am planning on practicing the steps below as I read through the book of John. In order to know the whole counsel of God, I am also reading the Bible through again this year. I try to do the day's reading before I go to bed each night. That way I have God's Word on my mind when I go to sleep. Those of you who have followed me awhile may remember my posts about the Be Still dvd. It is a wonderful dvd to help understand how to slow down and meet with God.

Your beauty … should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

 From the Be Still dvd:
CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER; SOLITUDE AND SILENCE

 STEPS FOR QUIET TIME

1. READ

2. REFLECT

3. RESPOND

4. REST

Take 2 or 3 deep breaths (in and out slowly) and focus your thoughts on God. If you are particularly anxious or feel distracted, play a praise CD, sing a favorite hymn, or read a short devotional to help redirect your thoughts.

 1. READ--Select a chapter or psalm from the Bible and read just a few verses (3 or 4). Read the verses 4 times, pausing a few moments between each reading.

 2. REFLECT—After the last reading, ask yourself what word or phrase speaks to you today? Does a particular word, phrase, or verse repeatedly catch your eye each time you read? If not, read on--repeating steps 1 & 2. God wants to speak to you through His Word. It is His letter to you.

3. RESPOND—What’s God inviting me to do with what I’ve read, or how does it apply to my life? Take a few moments to reflect on your answer. Perhaps write it down in a journal. If a verse speaks to you, you may want to write it on a 3x5 card and carry it with you to read in spare moments of your day. Submit to God’s leading. Submission allows transformation. Give Him praise and gratitude.

 4. REST—Experience His Presence. Sit in silence and stillness. Wait on Him by meditating on His goodness, His creative works, His characteristics (powerful, omnipresent, compassionate, gracious, merciful, loving, kind, patient, gentle, faithful, trustworthy, joyous, peace, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, our Good Shepherd, our Redeemer, our Champion and Deliverer, etc.)

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