Divine harvest

Prayer is like reaching into the heavens with both hands –

picking stars like apples,

and tossing them down to the children.

Meditation is like feasting on stardust for dinner,

until you are totally fulfilled.

Why don’t we spend more time harvesting the magic God created for us?

The Kingdom is truly right here.

How can I help you realize it?

Planted in darkness

All I wanted was the light,

but all I could see was darkness.

In every direction, I searched and

discovered more soil and worms.

So I shifted my attention away from the world around me

and turned inward.

I focused on the only good thing I could think of:

my desire for the light,

and my longing for it grew.

It continually expanded

until I suddenly found myself

bursting through a surface I didn’t know existed,

into a greater radiance than I’d ever imagined.

Within me, all around me …

everything shined with love.

All of creation encouraged me to bloom.

I wouldn’t trade my experience of darkness for anything –

how else would I have discovered what I’m made of?

How else could I realize know how powerful I am?

I’ll spend the rest of my life planting seeds of light for others.

 

The problem with contemplative prayer

When we spend time in silence contemplating God’s powerful unconditional love for us, He pours the perfection of His Spirit into us. It’s a beautiful thing.

James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” 

Contemplative prayer gives our Heavenly Father an opportunity to pour His miraculous gifts into us. God is the source of everything good that we could ever possibly want in our lives including joy, love, healing, power, peace and so much more.

The problem with contemplative prayer is not with God: It’s with us. 

The more time we allow Him to pour divine love into us, the more we discover all the the clogged places in us, which prevent His Love from flowing freely through us into the world. Resentments, fears, limiting beliefs and unhealed emotional wounds are a few examples of the guck we unconsciously hold onto, which block us from experiencing healing and miracles.

Often, when we enter into contemplative prayer and start to notice our own negativity instead of the mystical revelations from God we’d hoped for, we decide we’re not good at prayer and run for the hills.  Though that is understandable because it’s scary to realize how far we are from perfect unity with God …

I’m here to tell you: Don’t quit.

If you continue to retreat into the silence of contemplation of God’s infinite goodness, He can liberate you from everything holding you back from fully experiencing His love and pouring it into the world, which so desperately needs it. 

Thomas Merton said “We are able to decide whether we ourselves, and that portion of the world which is ours, shall become aware of His presence, consecrated by it, and transfigured by it’s light.”

The question is: will you persevere in prayer through the obstacles or not? 

I encourage you to educate yourself about the power of faith and prioritize taking time to meditate on God’s infinite love for you. Invite Christ’s love, mercy, forgiveness and healing power into the darker parts of yourself, and never give up until you’re free of them and experiencing the fullness of life in Christ.

Unity with God is a lifelong process, but perseverence in prayer pays off in the short run too.  Even just one encounter with God’s love for you will change your life in the best possible way.

Prayer

God, please inspire anyone reading this to step away from the frenetic pace of modern life to spend some time in silence focusing on Your goodness and love. Infuse them with the grace of motivation to persevere in prayer, even when it requires them to confront parts of themselves they’d rather not see. Fill them with Your Spirit, and give them a life changing encounter with Your Love, along with the grace to persevere through all inner healing and trials they encounter until they rest secure in perfect unity with You. Amen.

Action step 

Set aside some time each day (even just 15 minutes in the morning before the household wakes up) to allow God to pour the richess of His love into You. Try saying an Our Father or a simple invocation for God to fill You with the Holy Spirit, then rest in His love for you. Just keep returning your thoughts to God and patiently work through any distractions until you learn to “be still and know that I am God.” Another option is to read a scripture verse and ask God to fill you with the Spirit to understand it.

 

 

How to transform your fears into faith

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

I am a born worrier, who has been transformed by grace into a prayer warrior, who doesn’t stay stuck in fear for very long.

I credit my sensitive disposition as one of the factors that sparked my spiritual journey, which has forever enriched my life.

So if you’re a worrier, I see that as great news.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not an advocate of fear by any means. I agree with Jesus, who  advised us to “be not afraid” in a myriad of creative ways.

But I also see anxiety as an excellent launching point to grow a soul-satisfying faith life.

I mean! So many people wander the earth in a superficial way, carelessly trodding through life oblivious to people around them and the negative effects of their insensitivity.

Worriers don’t make that mistake.

Worriers  tend to be highly sensitive people, who feel things deeply and naturally want to care for others. Worriers tend to be thoughtful, compassionate and fiercely loving human beings, who are wired to pay attention to the emotional landscape all around them.

Though worriers run the risk of getting overwhelmed, it’s because they’re perceptive and brave enough to notice the heartache and risks that really do exist all around them.

I see this a good thing because we can’t pray for a problem that we don’t even know exists.

The mind of a worrier is a natural prayer list creator – we just need need to practice shifting our fears into faith, so God’s grace can start transforming us into the prayer warriors He’s calling us to be.

Here are a few habits that can begin to transform your fear into faith:

1 – Take time to quiet your mind in prayer and meditation every morning
The early hours are best for this because it’s quiet, while everyone else is sleeping. This literally can rewire your brain to be more peaceful.

2 – Cultivate mindfulness throughout the day
Pay attention to your thoughts, take more deep breaths. Notice when you’re starting to think fearfully.

3 – When you find yourself panicking, pray instead
When you pay attention to your thoughts, you have the power to shift into prayer. For example, if a news headline makes you fear war, pray for peace. When you’re concerned about a friend, cover her in prayer. When you’re afraid of losing your job, pray for God to guide you to a more secure one.

It really is this simple! Just stick with it. Grace is transformational, but it takes time to rewire our brain from worrying into warrior-ing.

Do you struggle with worry? Comment below, so we can pray for you to experience more of God’s peace in your life?  

Answering the calling

Do you know what God is calling you to do? www.uniteinprayer.org

It’s like a little ball of light in your heart that glows

and gets bigger the longer you follow it.
Brighter
and bolder too.

It will help to know some things in advance.

While mesmerized by the brilliance of it,
You can fully expect to be led into dark places that terrify you
and make your soul scream with the heaviness of every emotion you’ve ever avoided.
You will ache deeply.

The light will be your only consolation until it’s gone.

One day after putting all your hope and trust in it for years and
letting go of everything else in the process,
it will disappear entirely from your view.
You will be left alone,
lost in the deepest woods to fend for yourself with no comfort.

Being prepared for this won’t make it any easier.
But please know in advance that this journey is worth the toll it takes.

You are going somewhere.
Your trust was not misplaced, and
when the light comes back it will be more radiant than the brightest dawn.

You will be illuminated with every love, joy and truth known to man.
The glistening purity will pierce your soul, and
You will know the difference between who you are and what it is

Suddenly, you will be free to do more than blindly follow:
You will become one with the light.
Others will sense something luminous in you and have an opportunity to decide for themselves.

Is there any other path to freedom?

Reflection: Have you ever thought about what your calling from God is before? Have you ever had a sense that God was nudging you to follow him in a particular way? Did you listen? Have you ever prayed to God for guidance? Do you have the courage to follow Him even if He asks you to do hard things? 

Prayer: God bless everyone reading this to hear Your calling for their life! Fill their heart with a sense of Your presence, adn give them the courage to follow Your voice, along with the strength to persevere through their highest calling from You. 

Spiritual Toolbox: If you’re still learning to tune into Divine Guidance, I encourage you to try Lectio Divina. It’s an ancient practice of diving into the Word of God in order to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit. Learn more here.