THEME: A Living Rule
BREATH PRAYER: Father, set me on a path that leads me closer to Your heart.
- 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 you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
As we discussed on Sunday, a Rule of Life is a guide and a structure that encourages our growth toward God. It’s a deliberate plan to keep God at the center of everything we do. For the past seven weeks, we’ve examined the aspects of emotionally healthy spirituality by engaging in a variety of practices. For our reflection today, we’ll look back through our journals from the past seven weeks of practices and reflect on what the Lord may want us to pursue further.
- Review your journal from the last seven weeks by reading the summaries you wrote at the end of each day’s practice. Do you notice any broad themes or patterns in what you wrote? If so, write those down in your journal for today.
- Which days stand out as moments when you learned something new about God or yourself? What did you learn that was especially meaningful to you? Make notes in your journal about these times.
- Which of the Practices did you most enjoy or find helpful? Which ones seemed to fit your personality best? List a few of them in your journal. Ask God to highlight one of these Practices as something you could incorporate into your life over the coming month.
- Next, review the “Settling in” parts of your journal entries. What time of day did you most often engage in the Practices? Which location allowed you the best environment for listening to the Lord? Make notes about these conditions. Based on what you see, what seems like the best time and place for you to incorporate that Practice into your rhythm of life?
RULE OF LIFE
When you have finished this reflection, write down in your journal the answer to these prompts, as a “next step” in developing your Rule of Life for the next month:
- What one area of my emotional/spiritual health is the Lord calling me to explore more fully?
- What one practice would I like to engage in on a regular basis over the next month?
- What time and place will I set aside to engage in that practice, and how frequently?
- What might I need to say “no” to in order to make room for this practice?
That’s it! The answers you just wrote down are a first draft of your Rule of Life for the coming month. Consider writing this rule down in a place where you will see it regularly and be reminded of your chosen practice.
Remember, a Rule of Life is not a rigid document. On the contrary, it will change often–probably as often as your life and schedule changes! After you’ve practiced your Rule for a few weeks, re-examine it. If you’re maintaining it and finding increased joy, peace and freedom, thank God for His guidance and care. Ask Him to lead you even closer to His heart through this practice. If you haven’t continued in your Rule, or if you’re finding discouragement, guilt or condemnation, ask Him to show you what might need to change so you can walk with Him more closely. Throughout the next month, let this Rule be something that can adapt and grow as you intentionally make time to practice your faith.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Ask God to help you maintain your Rule of Life in the midst of busy days. Father, set me on a path that leads me closer to Your heart.