THEME: Growing Up
BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, grant me a deeper love for You and for others
- 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):
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.”
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
Lord, may our hearts and our house be a home where You are daily welcomed. Bless all who visit and live here with the gifts of Your life and Your love.
–Prayer of Blessing for a Home
When we welcome friends, family, and even strangers into our homes, we have the opportunity to practice hospitality in a way that goes beyond putting out some snacks or extra seating. In the spiritual practice of hospitality, we extend the gift of Christ to others as we welcome them to experience His presence in our lives.
Whether you share your home with guests regularly or a few times a year, engage in this practice with the aim of being a safe, open, warm person who loves and welcomes others. Hospitality happens anywhere we interact with people–our homes, workplaces, gyms, and elsewhere.
- Begin by reflecting on a place outside your home where you have felt welcomed and lovingly received. What was it about that location that helped you feel so comfortable? Are there people who stand out in your mind as being especially hospitable? What characteristics do they embody?
- Today we’re going to prayerfully walk through our homes and ask Jesus to cultivate His spirit of hospitality there. Beginning with your front door or entryway, walk through your house and pray for future guests to know they are welcome. Invite the presence of God to inhabit every part your home. If you aren’t at home, or can’t physically walk through the space, try to visualize each place in your mind as you pray.
- Continuing through your house, pray over the rooms your guests most often occupy. In the kitchen, pray they will be fed well, both physically and spiritually. Pray over your living room to be a place where conversation is encouraging, edifying, loving, and truth-filled. If you have a guest bedroom, pray that those who sleep here would be deeply refreshed and comfortable.
- As you walk, consider a few ways you could place visible reminders of God’s presence in these rooms. They might be overt reminders like a printed verse or prayer, or more subtle reminders like flowers or art or natural elements. When preparing to host friends, let these become cues to pray for the people coming into your home.
If you don’t often host people in your home, consider why that might be. Would you prefer to host one or two people rather than a crowd? Do you struggle with feeling that things have to be perfect? Take this to the Lord, asking Him to help you show hospitality in a way that reflects His love.
Digging Deeper: Remember that practicing hospitality is more about loving people than entertaining them. Invite someone to share coffee or a meal in your home this week. Order takeout or make up an extra burger–something easy that allows you to spend more time with the person than the preparations. Pray for your guest before he or she arrives. Ask the Lord to show you how you can love this person well as you enjoy time together.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of reflecting on the purpose of hospitality and praying through your home.
Closing: Thank God for always welcoming you into His presence. Jesus, grant me a deeper love for You and for others.