EHS Practices – Week 3 – Day 5

THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
REFLECTION

Find a quiet place to stop and prayerfully reflect over your previous week.

  1. Open your journal and look back over what you have written for the past four days.
  2. In today’s journal entry, write a brief summary of what you have experienced this week in your spiritual practices. Take note of what surprised you, what you learned, or where you experienced resistance or frustration.
  3. This week, our prayer was that the Lord would help us face our past and accept His freedom. As you reflect over the past five days, do you see any instances of Him doing this for you? Did you sense God speak to you in a specific way, or grant you a moment of joy or peace that you otherwise would’ve missed? No matter how small or insignificant they might seem, these moments are answers to your prayer. Write them down, and thank God for giving You this grace.
  4. Take a moment to look at your calendar the upcoming week. As you do so, notice what you are excited about in the coming week, as well as anything that makes you anxious.
  5. Offer your upcoming week to God, inviting Him to be with you in each event. Give Him thanks for the times you look forward to, and ask Him to provide you peace in the fearful events.

Closing: As you close in prayer, thank God for walking with you this week and for helping you face your past and accept His freedom.


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EHS Practices – Week 3 – Day 4

THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM


SETTLING IN:

  • 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 have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. (Psalm 71:20-21)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
inner-healing prayer

Throughout this week, we have prayed for the Lord to help us face the past and accept His freedom. Today we seek to bring the significant hurts of our past before God in a prayer for emotional healing. Often in the gospels, when people come to Jesus for healing, He involves them in their own healing. The woman who suffered bleeding reached out her hand to touch Jesus (Mark 5). A blind man was told to wash the mud from his eyes (John 9). An invalid was asked, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5). When we cooperate with Christ for healing, our pain can be transformed. As Richard Rohr says, “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”

To begin the prayer, sit comfortably, play this audio clip, and close your eyes. Time for reflection is built into the audio, but feel free to pause it if you need longer after any particular instruction.

Inner-healing prayer is a practice that often takes time to develop. The fruit of today’s prayer may not be immediately evident. You may not necessarily feel like it “worked.” But as time goes by and you think back to that memory, instead of simply focusing on the hurt or pain, remember the presence of Jesus with you in that moment. As you do, continually invite Him to release you, heal you, and care for you. Over time, you may find deep healing and a freedom you did not previously think was possible.

Digging Deeper: Read Isaiah 43:1-7. Imagine your Savior standing in that hurtful situation, speaking these words over you. Write the passage, or a portion of it that stands out to you, on a card and place it where you will see it regularly.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what the Lord showed you while praying.
  • Closing: Respond to Jesus regarding what He showed you or said to you. Be honest, even if you feel like He didn’t act or speak. Lord, help me face my past and accept Your freedom.

Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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EHS Practices – Week 3 – Day 3

THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Corinthians 2:10b-12)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
narrative entry

Narrative Entry is a practice by which we place ourselves in a passage from the Bible as if we are living it. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work through our imagination, we aim to see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste what is happening in the Bible narrative.

  • Read Genesis 50:15-21 slowly, setting the scene in your mind.
  • Before you read this passage a second time, remember the context. Joseph has been betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He has suffered for years in obscurity, abandoned by his family, falsely accused by his master’s wife, and forgotten in prison. Now, as he faces his brothers, Joseph has the power to choose whether they live or die for their brutality and neglect.
  • Now, read through the passage two more times slowly, and imagine you are Joseph.  What do you see, feel, hear, and know?
  • In your journal, write down what you observed during your reading. Did anything surprise you? Was there something you hadn’t previously noticed that jumped out? What do you think the Lord might be saying through this?
  • Pay special attention to any “shadows” you might notice from your past. Is the Lord bringing to your mind any unresolved hurt, fear, betrayal, or anxiety? If so, write these in your journal and take note of what God is unearthing from your past. Ask God to give you the courage to face these issues, and the grace to bring you true healing and freedom.

Digging Deeper: Read through the passage one or two more times, but imagine you are one of Joseph’s brothers. What does it feel like as you are preparing for this moment? What do you see, feel, hear, and know? What might the Lord be saying through this?

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you discovered during your time of reflection.
  • Closing: Respond to your Savior with this simple prayer: Lord, you know our past, present, and future. Thank you that you are there to meet us in each of those times and bring about healing and restoration. Help me face the past and accept Your freedom. Amen.

Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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EHS Practices – Week 3 – Day 2

THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
praying scripture

Prayer is communion with God, a time to enjoy being in His presence. Sometimes we speak, sometimes He speaks, and sometimes we are both silent. The practice of praying Scripture gives us the words of God to speak back to God, offering His perfect Truth as the desire of our hearts. In this way, we allow God to direct the subject and content of our prayer.

Today we’ll focus on praying the words of Hebrews 12:1-3. First, read the passage slowly. If your attention is drawn to a word or phrase, meditate on it for a few moments. Lay it before God as a prayer, even if it doesn’t sound like something you would typically pray.

Now read the passage a second time, replacing words like “we” and “our” with personal pronouns: “Therefore, since [I] [am] surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses, let [me] strip off every weight that slows [me] down, especially the sin that so easily trips [me] up …” Again, pause on anything that strikes you as important, or anything that brings up emotions or memories–even if you don’t get through the whole passage.

Read the passage a third time, replacing “we” and “us” with your name. Picture Jesus, the perfect Intercessor, praying these words to the Father on your behalf (see Romans 8:34): “Therefore, since [name] [is] surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses, let [name] strip off every weight that slows [him/her] down, especially the sin that so easily trips [him/her] up …” Consider the power behind Jesus’s prayer for you.

Digging Deeper: This week we’re praying for the Lord to help us face the past. Verse 2 says we are able to run the race with endurance by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Think through some of the pivotal moments of your past, either positive or negative. In those moments, can you picture Jesus as having been with you, or by your side in the midst of each circumstance? If not, pray about that specific moment, and ask Jesus to help reveal the ways in which He was present to you, even when you were not aware of His nearness.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what stood out to you while praying through this passage.
  • Closing Prayer: Thank Jesus for His constant presence and His example of patient, obedient endurance. Lord, help me face my past and accept Your freedom.

Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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EHS Practices – Week 3 – Day 1

THEME: GOING BACK TO GO FORWARD

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME FACE MY PAST AND ACCEPT YOUR FREEDOM


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. (Romans 4:16)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
REFLECTION: The genogram

In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero describes a powerful tool known as a genogram. In his words, a genogram is “a way to draw our family trees in a way that looks at information about family members and their relationships over two or three generations.” In this exercise, you will draw your own genogram and, with God’s help, visually represent the emotional connections in your family of origin.

This process might take a bit longer than your typical Daily Practice, but is incredibly helpful in noticing the “icebergs” we have inherited from our families. Take time to thoughtfully and prayerfully write out this chart–it will be worth it!

  • For guidance on drawing your own genogram, click here.
  • After you draw your genogram, reflect on it in silence for 5-10 minutes and the write down anything that you notice from your genogram. Maybe it brings clarity to behavioral patterns in your family. Maybe it brings up old wounds that need to be healed. Maybe you are thankful for blessings that have flowed through the generations. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be honest about it.
  • Remember, our heart in this activity is not to blame, condemn or criticize our family of origin. Families are never perfect, and we cannot expect ours to be. At the same time, activities like this help us notice the “icebergs” we have inherited from our families so that we can seek God’s true healing and freedom in our future.
  • Thank God for the blessings that make themselves known through your genogram.
  • For any brokenness revealed in your genogram, take that to God and ask for His healing.

Digging Deeper: As you developed your genogram, you did the hard work of mapping out your view of several generations of your family. Now get silent and ask God what His view of your family is. See if you can prayerfully discern a single word or image that summarizes the “shadow” you have received from these previous generations. Take each family member in your genogram to God and ask Him for His thoughts on that person and the relationships that they share(d). Make note of any similarities and differences that arise as you compare God’s point of view to yours.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God showed you during this exercise.
  • Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that while my earthly family has ushered both blessings and challenges into my life, my ultimate identity is as Your child: fearfully and wonderfully made, loved and accepted. Lord, help me face my past and accept Your freedom.

Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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EHS Practices – Week 2 – Day 5

THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD

BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.” (Philippians 2:12 MSG)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
REFLECTION

Read through your journal entries from the past four days. In today’s journal entry, write a brief summary of what you have experienced this week in your spiritual practices. Take note of what surprised you, what you learned, or where you experienced resistance or frustration.

This week, our prayer was that the Holy Spirit would help us know our shadow, so we can lay it down. As you reflect on this week, what experiences answered that prayer? Did you sense God speak to you in a specific way, or grant you a moment of clarity or understanding of yourself that you might otherwise have missed? No matter how small or insignificant they might seem, these moments are answers to your prayer. Write them down, and thank God for giving You this grace.

Take a moment to look at your calendar the upcoming week. As you do so, notice what you are excited about as well as anything that makes you anxious. Offer your upcoming week to God, inviting Him to be with you in each event, helping you move through the days as your true self. Give Him thanks for the times you look forward to, and ask Him to provide you peace in the fearful events and the courage to lay down your shadow.

Closing: Thank God for walking with you and teaching you this week.


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EHS Practices – Week 2 – Day 4

THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD

BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is both sun and shield; he will give grace and glory; No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk with integrity. O Lord of hosts, happy are they who put their trust in you! (Psalm 84:9-12)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
LECTIO DIVINA

The practice of Lectio Divina is a form of prayerful meditation on Scripture that dates back to the third century. Countless Christ-followers have utilized this practice to help connect more deeply with the living Word of God.

Open your Bible to Psalm 8 and find a quiet place to sit comfortably. Pause for a moment and remember that the Lord is with you. Once you are still and calm, walk through the four steps below:

  1. Read: Read through the passage once, slowly. In this reading, familiarize yourself with what is happening in the passage. Imagine yourself observing the scene, visually. When you are finished reading, be still and silent for a moment.
  2. Listen: Read the passage two more times, slowly. As you do, ask and expect that the Holy Spirit will draw your attention to a specific word or phrase. When one word or sentence seems to stand out to you (no matter how strange or insignificant!), narrow your focus to that one phrase and ask the Lord why He has directed you there.
  3. Pray: Dialogue with the Lord about that word or phrase. Express your response, ask for greater clarity, talking with God in your thoughts as you would a friend.
  4. Rest: Spend a few moments resting in God’s presence, thanking Him for speaking directly to you.

Digging Deeper … You have just studied God’s word thoroughly. Now, just sit with Him in solitude for 10-15 minutes. No agenda. No plan. Just you and God. Breathe deeply and allow yourself to melt into His presence. If you sense Him speaking to you, feel free to write His words in a journal. If you do not get the sense that He is speaking, simply rest in His presence and enjoy His love.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God showed you while reading.
  • Closing: Thank your Heavenly Father for the many ways He loves you. Praise Him for the majesty of His creation and for the tender intimacy of His love. Spirit, help me know my shadow, so that I can lay it down.

Questions? Please email us at info@parishanglican.org

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EHS Practices – Week 2 – Day 3

THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD

BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN


SETTLING IN:

  • 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 have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.” (Psalm 119:65-66)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
SELF CARE

In Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero writes, “I truly believe the greatest gift we can give the world is our true self living in loving union with God. In fact, how can we affirm other people’s unique identities when we don’t affirm our own? Can we really love our neighbors well without loving ourselves?”

One way in which we can worship God is by acknowledging the marvelous way He has made us. Your physical body, personality, passions, and abilities are all important parts of the way God has made you to be you, and He is supremely pleased. Spend 15-20 minutes writing a list of things you like about yourself.  As you do, use this time to worship God for the way He has created you, for His masterful work in crafting the person of you. Note: This is not about bragging or self-inflating our ego, rather it is thanking God for the precious gifts He has given you.

What do you think is on God’s list of things He loves about you? Ask Him to speak to you about it, and write down what comes to mind.

Is there anything on your list that surprised you? Or was writing this list particularly difficult for you? If so, why do you think that is the case?

Digging Deeper … God is inviting you to be who He has uniquely called you to be. Review your list, asking God to highlight anything that might be the product of someone else’s expectations of you–a place where you’re wearing someone else’s armor. Ask the Lord if there’s anything He would have you take off because it doesn’t fit you.

  • Summary: In your journal, write a short summary of the specific gifts and traits God has displayed in you.
  • Closing: Ask for your heavenly Father’s help in seeing yourself as He sees you–wholly and unconditionally loved, a masterpiece of His crafting. Spirit, help me know my shadow, so that I can lay it down.

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EHS Practices – Week 2 – Day 2

THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD

BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

“As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 48:10a NLT)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
BIBLE STUDY

Read Luke 4:16-30 two times, pausing in between readings to let the words soak into your mind and heart. When you have finished reading, take some time to answer the questions below in your journal.

  • Where is Jesus as He delivers this sermon? Why is this location significant?
  • What kind of person do you think the people of Nazareth wanted Jesus to be? What would the people of Nazareth want him to say?
  • Look closely at verse 22. Think back to a time where people spoke well of you, or were amazed at something you had done, how did their affirmation make you feel?
  • Have you ever changed your behavior or compromised your true self in order to make sure others spoke well of you? Thinking back to that experience, what were you afraid of?
  • In verse 23, Jesus seems to know exactly who the people around Him want Him to be, and what they want Him to say. Do you think the “role” others expect you to play is different from who you truly are? What does that role look like? What do others expect you to say or do?
  • Read verses 28-29 and imagine the furious response of the people of Nazareth. If your closest friends/family reacted to you in this way, how would you feel? What would you do in response? Have you ever felt this way in your past? If so, describe that experience.
  • Look at Jesus’ response to the crowd in verse 30. Notice how He doesn’t try to change their minds or win them over, and yet He is perfectly at peace with who He is and what He is called to do. In your daily life, do you experience that same sense of peace and confidence? Why or why not?

Digging Deeper … Read the passage a third time, imagining yourself as a person watching Jesus from within the crowd. As you read, imagine what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. Does anything in particular about Jesus’ words or actions stand out to you? Ask God to draw your attention to one thing about Jesus in this story. Once you focus on that one aspect, ask God why He wanted to reveal this to you in particular, and listen for what He brings to mind.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God revealed as you studied His Word.
  • Closing: Thank God for sending Christ, the Eternal Word, and the truest representation of Himself in human form. Spirit, help me know my shadow, so that I can lay it down.

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EHS Practices – Week 2 – Day 1

THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD

BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN


SETTLING IN:

  • 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):

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.  (Philipians 1:6)

Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.

PRACTICE:
PRAYER OF EXAMEN

On Sunday we discussed how emotions are like “check engine lights that help us know when God needs to heal something deep within.” One of the keys to spiritual and emotional health is to regularly review these “check engine lights” and to take them to God. We can use the Prayer of Examen to facilitate this process.

The Prayer of Examen is an ancient practice for reviewing a certain amount of time, usually the past 24 hours or less. In this prayer, we express gratitude for the gifts of God, notice particularly strong emotions, and examine other experiences or feelings God causes to stick in our minds. When we reflect on the past, we can often recognize God’s guidance and teaching even more than we do in the moment. Use the following guideline to pray through the Prayer of Examen:

  1. Begin with a moment of silence and stillness, simply asking God to help you review the past 24 hours with you Ask God to reveal your day from His perspective rather than your own.
  2. Begin reviewing the events of the past 24 hours, as though you were watching a movie of your life. As you do this, look for the most life-giving experience of the last 24 hours. What emotion(s) did you experience as a result of this event? In your journal, write down a brief statement about this life-giving experience, and thank God for this gift He has generously given to you.
  3. Thinking back over your day, ask God to reveal the most life-sapping experience of the last 24 hours. In your journal, write down the emotion or emotions that you felt during this time and know that they may be “check engine lights,” indicators of something that God wants to heal in you. Ask God if these emotions might be pointing to something deeper that He would like to forgive, heal, or discuss with you.
  4. Consider the day ahead of you. Think through your schedule, and as you do notice any items that cause you joy or anxiety. Bring those items to the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to help you walk through this day with confidence and peace.

Digging Deeper On Sunday, we discussed how Jesus consistently avoided the temptation to be anyone other than His true self. Reflect on the emotions that you listed from the life-sapping part of your day. Were any of these emotions indicative of you living a life that is not your own? Take this question to God and ask Him to identify any “false selves” that may have been revealed by these emotions. Bring these “false selves” into the light by listing them and then talking through them with a trusted friend.

  • Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God showed you during your time of Examen.
  • Closing: Thank God for His love and tenderness as He constantly forms you into His image. Spirit, help me know my shadow, so that I can lay it down.

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