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Quiet Awareness of God

Today’s Reflection

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER is resting silently in the loving arms of God. No words are needed to express this love. A mother may gently sing or speak to her baby, but she spends hours in silence simply holding the child who is content to be cradled in the mother’s arms. At times hunger or irritation gets expressed in a cry. But for many hours there is a silent communication of trust and intimacy.

In Christian spirituality the word contemplation denotes quiet awareness of God. This consciouisness goes deeper than words or thoughts can express, a quiet rest in God. Contemplation implies rapt attention to God, enfolded in God’s loving embrace. Meditation in Christian tradition implies thinking about something, reflecting on its meaning. Contemplation expresses a deeper awareness beyond words, an intimate presence. We get a foretaste of heaven where we are “lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

– J. David Muyskens
Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God

From pages 44-45 of Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer by J. David Muyskens. Copyright © 2006 by J. David Muyskens. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe your own experiences of contemplation. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”

Mark 10:15, NRSV

This Week: pray for persons struggling with addiction. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Thérèse of Lisieux (October 1).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller October 7, 2018, 5:33 am

    Julie, I see your posts, didn’t intentionally leave you out yesterday. Most certainly pray for your safety, well-being, job search, daughter, plus hands and foot. You are most certainly beloved, both here and in heaven. So thankfu for your prayers and comments.

    Ana, there is a Spanish UR devotional, am not sure if it is online. Congratulations on your baptism. Be blessed. Thank You, Lord.

    Connie, grateful her passing was peaceful, while we mourn her passing, we also rejoice knowing they are together again and in a place full of love and peace. Your brief words say a lot. I echo your response to Andrea’s post.

    Andrea, yes, you have a way with words and they are a blessing to all who read or hear them. Prayers for you, Lowell, your daughter, grandson, and son-in-law. God’s peace to you all.

    Prayers for Jill, her parents, and sister, for Marcy, whom we all dearly miss, for everyone who comes to the UR, and for all who do not yet believe.

  • Jill October 7, 2018, 5:56 am

    Have been struggling lately to attain that deep, contemplative space during my morning time. My brain seems to be wanting to move in 100 different directions. I re-focus, but it seems just for a moment, and then my thoughts are scattered again. However – I am grateful to have recollection of the times when I can get to that very serene spot, to simply be, and in the rarest of moments – to, yes, sense His embrace. I try to quiet myself currently, but before becoming too frustrated, move on to some reading or Bible study work.
    Time spent with my friend from out of town went well. Roger wasn’t sure what to think as someone was sleeping in “our bed” and it wasn’t us. I was on an air mattress downstairs, but he didn’t know what to do. So he restlessly laid in the recliner all night. I am sure he slept all day yesterday, once we left.
    Today, mom and I were to attend a very popular outdoor arts festival, but last night she said she wasn’t going to go. I tried to cajole her a bit, but she stood her ground. I told her I was going for sure, even if she didn’t go and to call me today if she changed her mind. I am not sure what this is about. She has been doing a lot of things and I find that encouraging. But – I don’t know how to read this. She and dad are coming over for dinner tomorrow evening – it is dad’s 85th birthday. So grateful for his continued good health and non stop encouragement of mom.
    Prayers for Connie and the passing of a loved one. May those who remain be blessed with warm memories and the comfort of each other.
    I join the chorus of congratulations for Mary. I hope this florist job is fulfilling for you and could lead to new opportunities.
    Father – lead Julie to the job You intend for her. And continue to guide her through these difficult times. Might she sense her belovedness in You.
    Sweet Sabbath wishes to those listed above, as well as Robert, Andrea, Betsy, Lou, Marcy, April, Rusty and K.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 7, 2018, 6:56 am

      Thanks Jill!

      May you be focused on God to draw strength and guidance. It is not easy caring for elderly parents. I am glad i could spend more time with my elderly parents these few days before i start my new job. Just heard from a friend that her dad passed away suddenly. This causes me to treasure my time with my elderly parents.

      Yes, it is difficult to focus when we are distracted with many matters but all the more we need to focus on God who grant us strength.

      Blessings!

      May you and your parents be so close to God for there is joy in His presence, Jill!

  • Betsy October 7, 2018, 7:23 am

    It has been such a busy, harried weekend. I feel I’ve been too caught up in the chaos to really stop and rest during my quiet time, so this passage today is timely. I’ve written down the definition of spiritual contemplation in my journal; “a quiet awareness of God” much needed today. Praying that we can all take time to experience this in the stillness this day and the week to come.

    Grateful for a wonderful Team Formation meeting yesterday for Kairos as we continue to prepare for the weekend. A long day, but filled with God’s work, prayer and His spirit! We continue to pray for the women who will join us in early November. Haven’t completely caught up with all posts, but have seen a few responses. Mary, prayers go you as you embark on a new job. May it bring you joy and reward. Julie, so sorry for the loss of your lov d one. Praying for peace in the days to com. Jill, glad you had a fun visit with your friend . I continue to remember and pray for you mom and her health, your dad and his strength and for your family as you treasure your time as a family. Robert, Julie, Connie, Andrea, Marcy and all the others who visit and hear God speaking to them this day.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 7, 2018, 7:34 am

    Thanks so much dear Betsy!

    So glad that you had a wonderful team formation meeting yesterday. May God bless your ministry abundantly and use you and your team mightily, Betsy!

    In your ministry and your team, may God be glorified, Betsy!

  • Julie October 7, 2018, 8:12 am

    Thank you everyone for letting me know you can see my posts. Since Robert related his issues with receiving our posts and a new hiccup of sorts when I hit submit, I was not sure if I had also fallen prey to a technical glitch.
    Thank you for your prayers. I feel overwhelmed by the love you send so freely. Thank you.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Pearl. Remember little Pearl is also moving! May God guide you all. What state are you moving to and are there mre ski resorts there than in Vermont? I thought Vermont had many resorts and was a good state for skiing.
    Prayers for Jill and Gloria. Good to hear the visit went well and that Roger was able to get back to his routine. Perhaps do not read anything into Goria’s decision, maybe she is tired or would rather do other things.
    Prayers for Betsy and her ministry sisters. May they follow God and his leadings in their cause.
    Prayers for Connie and her family. May they find solace in one another and the assurance that their loved one is resting in the arms of Jesus.
    Prayers for Mary as she learns to arrange flowers. Will you still teach?
    Prayers for Marcy, we miss her so.
    Prayers for April and Ana. So good to hear from April again. Welcome Ana to God’s family, as a newly baptised member we rejoice in you.
    I am remiss in my quiet time with God. Need to dedicate myself to this.
    Prayers for all. I am thankful for this loving family, for green leaves and for sunshine and warm weather in October

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 8, 2018, 4:03 am

      Thanks Julie!

      To teach or not depends on how God leads.

      Blessings!

      May you be blessed with a good and suitable job, Julie!

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