Have you ever wanted to focus on something,
knew it would benefit you,
but seemed to lack the “how”?
Getting our actions to align with our hearts is not so easy. Especially when, the “how” is unclear or undefined.
I discovered something, a few years back, that seemed to help me focus on the Easter season. It’s not a new concept, but the practice of it was new for me.
I’ve been to several 24-hour prayer rooms around the country. I didn’t go there for a specific purpose or even travel there to find these. They happened along the way: they intrigued me. So, I visited and sometimes stayed for a while engaging in communion with God. I like the atmosphere. The environment aided my focus.
Let me be frank… I am not a 24-hour-person. Staying awake all night is not in my wheelhouse. If I try, my head gets so foggy, I cannot concentrate nor be responsible for my actions or words: I’m cray cray! I spend weeks recovering. I wasn’t even good as a teenager staying awake at slumber parties! Give me a bed. You’ll be glad you did!
Several years ago, around Easter, our church started a 24-hour prayer emphasis. You could come for whatever length of time suited you. The sanctuary was dark, candle lit. A live musician played/sang softly. There was a communion station and a prayer request board where you could pray for other people’s requests.
But, my favorite part, by far, were the small tables with desk lamps scattered throughout the room. You could sit there and read scripture, write in a journal, etc. After I prayed for a while, I would post myself at a table and practice a “how”… I discovered it helped me focus.
I took a journal and Bible with me. As I was in an attitude of prayer, I copied scripture. As music played, and I copied scripture, words from either would prompt a prayer, so I stopped and prayed. Sometimes, I found lyrics of songs being sung make a way to the margins. Life situations and people’s names imprinted the pages, as well.
For several hours, I delighted in this cocoon with God. It felt like a sheltered, haven for me and God. Like He was holding me there. It was a long deep breath. A sigh of relief. Much like Psalm 61:4:
… Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.
I can’t describe how nurturing and sacred it felt to my soul. I looked forward to it; a special place of deliberate time to focus on God. I found it a perfect precursor to my Easter celebration in mind and spirit.
I recently heard a pastor say, “When you wrap the cocoon of scripture around you, it transforms you. Like a metamorphosis, caterpillar into butterfly, by the power of scripture.” That is how the cocoon of this experience felt.
Maybe you don’t have a 24-hour prayer room, or a church who provides this experience. Don’t feel cheated. You can still do it, perfectly!
I suggest setting aside an evening. Play Pandora softly on a praise station (music of choice). Turn the lights off. Light candles. Be quiet. Have a small lamp or head lamp. Get a journal or paper. Spend a few hours of concentrated time praying and if, this strikes a chord with you, just copy scripture. Ask others to join you. Or fly solo.
If your mind wanders to a person, pray for them. If lyrics strike you, write them. I suggest allowing yourself some time to ponder Easter week/weekend. Write your thoughts and feelings about it’s events and the impact on you!
My simple “How”…. Copy Scripture.
It’s a practice I intend to keep engaging in to center and focus me, so I Don’t Miss It!
Just one simple “How”; one of millions.
Share your “how” in the comments.
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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