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Friends, thanks for taking time to pray. This is designed so you can worship and practice praying either by yourself or with family members.

The focus for this series of exercises is being present and grateful in prayer. As several folks shared in our Sunday conversation last week, one of the hardest things about praying is…getting there. This is no accident. It is hard to be still in prayer.

So, let’s practice being present and grateful in prayer.

 

First, listen

to Lauren Daigle’s cover of a song called “Multiplied” to celebrate how prayer has a way of connecting us to a love that is always there for us and goodness that can multiply beyond what we can imagine.

Next

Read 1 Kings 19:11-13. It’s a moment when a guy is running for his life and finds God in a way he maybe didn’t expect to—in silence.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

 

Next

Read Psalm 46:10 and practice 1 minute of silence with brain clearing. In other words, try to be still and know God by trying to stop all the thoughts that come into your mind.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

 

Pray out loud or to yourself:

God, I feel… and say anything and everything exactly as you feel. The person who wrote most of the Psalms did this all the time. He did what is called lament. He shows us that God would rather us show up with honesty rather than not showing up at all or showing up with words or actions that aren’t really true.

 

Next

Practice what is called Lectio Divina, or “sacred reading” with 1 Kings 19:11-13 (yes, the same passage you read earlier). This is a way of praying with the Bible.

Read the passage and ask yourself,

  • What does the passage say?
  • What is going on?

I’m taking these questions from a video Father James Martin did on YouTube. 

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

This can be a great group exercise or something to journal with on your own.

 

Read it again.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Now, ask yourself, What does the passage say to me? For instance, you may feel like you have a hard time hearing God.

 

Read it again.

Yes, you heard me right.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Now ask, What do I want to say to God based on the passage? This naturally is your prayer.

 

Finally, ask yourself,

What difference does this passage make in my life?

This may lead you to pray about something happening in your life or in the world. It may lead you to realize that God is moving you take a next step to do something.

 

Finally, pray out loud or to yourself:

God, thank you…and say anything and everything you think God is the cause/source of.

Thanks again for taking the time to pray.

God bless you.