I DISCOVERED AT THE MONASTERY that worship beginning in silence and punctuated by many pauses allows time for deeper connection with the One to whom we pray. … We seldom take time for stillness in our culture. Monastic life is countercultural in that it punctuates each day with periods of silence.
Monastics are no less busy than the rest of us; the telephone rings, guests arrive at the door, the gras needs to be mowed, food must be prepared—but when they (and we) attend to tasks from a place of stillness, it enhances the quality of Presence.
The Psalms introduce a rhythm that reminds me of the ocean as wave upon wave reaches the shore, sometimes with crashing vigor, but always with regularity.
As I sat each day with the monks and learned to pause at the end of each line of a psalm—alien to my usual way of reading—I began to let the Psalms pray me.
Today, with no community to assist my praying, I find that if I continue to practice the frequent pauses, I am more able to “hear” what God is saying through these ancient prayers.
-Elizabeth J. Canham
Finding Your Voice in the Psalms
From pages 12-13 of Finding Your Voice in the Psalms: An Invitation to Honest Prayer. Copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth J. Canham. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Read a Psalm today before your prayer time. Share your thoughts.
When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
Acts 16:15, NRSV
This Week: pray those diagnosed with cancer. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.
This week we remember
James the Less. (May 3).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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