This week Pastor Donnell launched a new sermon series on Life in the Spirit. We, as followers of Jesus are called into a paradoxical life of faith— one in which we lose our lives in order to find them, one in which we are given new life in the midst of what seems like the most hopeless of circumstances, and one in which we are invited to be holy as a response to this new life, but not in order to earn it. That is a lot to hold in tension. We often try to distill all of this beautiful complexity down to its simplest form, into a set of easy steps to follow in order to achieve a straightforward result. But our faith is usually more complicated than that. Pastor Donnell invited us this week to consider our habits— our practices of being, doing, learning, and relating.
This week as you pray, ask for the wisdom to recognize the habits and practices of your faith that have been the most fruitful and life-giving. Focus on one that feels the most meaningful to you right now, and spend some time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you into deepening that practice. If you would like, you may use this simple model:
Jesus, I have encountered you profoundly as I (faith habit) . Thank you for the ways in which you have brought me new life, healing, and growth through this. I pray that your Holy Spirit will guide me further into this practice, so that I may know you more fully, and experience your love for me more deeply. Amen.
If you feel that you have the bandwidth for it, or if you feel God’s prompting or invitation, consider also praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct you to a new practice, perhaps one that feels challenging or outside of your comfort zone. The point is not to set a new goal to achieve, but to open yourself to God’s invitation to new life and growth in your faith. Consider praying the following:
Holy God, you work in bold and mysterious ways. I pray that as I seek to know you more deeply, that you would guide me to a new practice or habit that you may be inviting me to. Send your Holy Spirit to sustain and challenge me as I seek to grow in knowledge of your love for me, and as I seek to partner with your work of bringing new and abundant life into your world. Amen.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.