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):
Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, MSG)
- Pause for a few moments of silence.
- Choose one of the following practices.
Option 1: Honoring the Body – Breathing [5-30 minutes]
Jesus said in Luke 10:27 that we are called to love God with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” Take a few moments and read the passage from 1 Corinthians listed above a second time.
Our physical health is directly connected to our spiritual health. The practice of Honoring the Body encourages us to remember this connection and take care of the life God has given us.
Today, we will take a few minutes to simply pay attention to our breathing. This may seem strange or uncomfortable at first, but don’t skip this practice! Take a moment and walk through the steps below:
- Settle into a comfortable position. Try to relax your body as much as possible.
- Notice how quickly you are breathing, and try to breathe as slowly and deeply as possible.
- Notice any tension that you may feel and relax that tension as you exhale.
- Breathe a few more times, praying these words quietly: (Inhale) “I will fear no evil…”, (exhale) “…for You are with me.”
When you are finished, take a moment and reflect on this practice in your journal. What did you notice as you breathed deeply? What might God want to tell you through your body today? Are there any physical or emotional places of tension or anxiety that you have been ignoring?
Option 2: Honoring the Body [30-60 minutes]
Physical health rests on three main components: nutrition, exercise, and rest. Paying attention to each of these three areas not only honors God’s gift to us, but can help us avoid physical, emotional, and spiritual burnout during difficult seasons.
Open your journal and write these three words: Nutrition, Exercise, Rest. Beside each word, write a number from 1-5 noting how much intentional care you are giving to that area of your life.
Without judging yourself, notice the component you are currently giving the least amount of attention and write down one thing you can do today to help in that area. For instance, “Go to bed at 9:30pm.” or “Take a walk after dinner.” Make it a realistic practice that you can do today.
Now, take the challenge and “honor your body” in that way today. Notice what you experience, and consider making this a habit to continue in your life.
If you have time remaining, finish by using the breathing practice listed above.
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you discovered during your time honoring your body.
- Closing Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to observe and surrender my inner life.
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