A ‘Listening’ Prayer Group Begins!
You may recall recent blog posts I’ve written about coming to a juncture in the road on our journeys of faith when we must decide:
Will I take the Road of “Yes, BUT…” or
Will I take the Road of “Yes, WHAT…?”
Wouldn’t you know it, I came to that juncture as I was writing the article. (How clever of God to use my own words to speak not only to ‘thee,’ but also to ‘me!’)
While on my educational pilgrimage in Spain, during a time of silence, I felt the Spirit suggesting I facilitate a contemplative women’s group in which silent “listening” prayer was introduced and practiced.
As I thought more and more about such a group, I envisioned an early-morning gathering—an oasis for busy, pressured women—a safe and sacred way to begin days that are often scheduled tightly, brimming with both good and not-so-good stressors.
Of course, my thoughts turned toward the obstacles. I found many good reasons to say, “Lord, I think this is a great idea, BUT…”
Saying, “Yes, WHAT…” to God doesn’t mean the road will be free of hindrances. To say, “Yes,” we may need to say, “No” to something else.
“No” to my own convenience or desire.
“No” to a friend or loved one’s legitimate, but non-essential request.
“No” to fear or insecurity.
“No” to the enemy of my soul who always wants to distract me away from doing the good work to which God is calling me.
Since one of my core values is “Integrity–honesty at the core—the same person in private as I am in public, (which, by the way, is frequently an ‘aspirational’ rather than ‘actual’ value!) I decided I needed ‘to practice what I preach,’ ‘to do as I say.’ Rather than making excuses, I simply said, “Yes, Lord…” and went for it.
One recent morning, bright and early, a group of eight women—all who also had been willing to say, “Yes, WHAT…” gathered at our home. For one hour we shared a bit, but mostly, we prayed silently and practiced a brief Lectio Divina (prayerful Scripture reading and journaling). After one hour we returned to our normal activities.
I’m excited about this group. I anticipate the Lord will knit our kindred spirits together in love and unity.
In my next post, I’ll give you the simple structure of our newly formed group. I’ll also provide some direction and insight in case you’re interested in forming such a group or beginning your own journey of ‘listening’ prayer.
Until we ‘chat’ again, blessings on your journey of listening…
A busy holiday weekend visit and lots of family activities, including hosting dinner and a dessert open house, were some of my “Yes, BUT…” reasons for delaying the ‘Listening’ Prayer Group. (left to right, bottom: Sydney, oldest granddaughter; Emalynn, youngest granddaughter; Sarah, younger daughter; top Angie, older daughter; yours truly, ‘Grandma Susie.’)