“Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life." Isaiah 55:3a (NLT)
What are Spiritual Practices? We like how Rob Bell described them...
"Spiritual practices are exactly what their name suggests; they’re ways to be deliberate about matters of the soul. A spiritual practice is a tool for becoming aware of God within the normalcy of life—it injects the sacred into elements that could otherwise seem just everyday. So in applying spiritual practices, we find that the lines can be blurred between those things spiritual and what is secular: gratitude can happen when we’re mowing the lawn, worship and grocery shopping are compatible, God can be pursued on the evening commute."
One common misunderstanding within the Church is that Spiritual Practices are things we do only by ourselves -- in the 'prayer closet', so to speak. While there are certainly practices we can engage in on an individual level, we actually think that spirituality is shaped more profoundly in community. Our Sunday Gatherings and Life Groups are probably the best places to start. Once we're connecting regularly in those ways, what are some things we can do to be intentional about cultivating our awareness of God amid the everyday?
Commonly observed Spiritual Practices include prayer, Bible reading, confession, journaling. Here are a few resources to assist you in these and other practices:
Lectio Divina. The four stages of lectio divina are beautifully summarised by a Carthusian Prior, Guigo: "We read a text of scripture. We meditate to enter deeply into the text's meaning. In prayer we respond to God in the light of this meaning. In contemplation we rest simply in the presence of God, needing no further words. Reading, as it were, puts the food into the mouth. Meditation chews it and breaks it up. Prayer extracts its flavour. Contemplation is the sweetness itself which gladdens and refreshes."
Artway Visual Meditations. Click on Visual Meditations to see examples of weekly postings designed to help people engage with the spiritual dimension of works by various artists. You'll also see a link to sign up to receive these meditations via email on a weekly basis.