THEME: Jesus longs to restore my soul.
GRACE: Lord, give me the courage to observe and surrender my inner life.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23:5-6, NIV)
- Pause for a few moments of silence.
- Choose one of the following practices.
Option 1: Gratitude [5-30 minutes]
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, thank you, that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart (1260 – c. 1328)
Gratitude is a powerful practice that the Lord can use to bring health to our inner lives. Intentional gratitude does not mean neglecting or covering over areas of hurt or brokenness, but instead helps us notice God’s work even in the midst of difficulty.
Set a timer for five minutes. Then open your journal and begin listing things you are grateful for. Try to not let your pen stop moving, and see how many things, people, events, or blessings you can name. When your time is finished, look back and thank God for each item you listed. Finish your time with a prayer of thanks to God for the life He has given you, and ask Him to help you walk with gratitude today.
NOTE: Today is a great opportunity to adapt your practice to your unique wiring. If you enjoy being out in nature, spend your time outside and give thanks for the things you see. If you are artistic, consider drawing or painting what you are grateful for. Take time today to express gratitude in the way God has designed you to experience His joy, and have fun!
Option 2: Gratitude [30-60 minutes]
Spend the first 30 minutes of your time using the “Gratitude” practice listed above. Instead of five minutes, challenge yourself to spend 10-15 minutes listing things you are grateful for. Be sure to have fun with this and adapt the practice to your uniqueness. Express your gratitude in the way God has designed you to experience His joy.
Whereas inward gratitude helps form us as healthy people, outward expressions of gratitude help shape healthy communities in profound ways.
When you are finished, take the remaining time and write a note of gratitude. This could be a note in your journal of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness and provision in your life. Or, it could be a note, email, or text message expressing your gratitude to a person in your life.
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you experienced during your expression of gratitude.
- Closing Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to observe and surrender my inner life.
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