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Practicing Prayer (St. Benedict’s Prescription)
I’ll never forget Jerry Tankersly’s advice to me. Or Candie Blankman’s for that matter. Same goes for Rex McDaniel and Eugene Peterson. Oh, and also Mary Schafner and Lisa Prince.
All of these names represent mentors to me in my walk as a Christian. These individuals are pastors and disciples of Jesus whom I look to as examples of what it looks like to walk in “faith, hope and love.” And each of them have had very similar advice to me through the years. If you want to walk this walk of faith with longevity and with grace, make sure you keep the Book of Psalms close by.
Indeed, one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves as Christians is to enjoy the “daily bread” of God’s Word in the Psalms. Taking time to slowly, mindfully and lovingly reading the psalms can be an excellent way to keep us grounded and our focus on God. Written as real responses to real things that happen to us, the psalms teach us to give words to our emotions, everything from our elation to our sadness to our deep grief.
St. Benedict prescribed the same type of practice for himself and for other Christians. In fact, he set it up so that fellow followers of Jesus would read and pray a certain set of psalms each day of the week. Recently, I received this lovely little book pictured at the top of today’s message. It includes psalm readings for each day, and you can find similar books by jumping onto Amazon or Cokesbury or your favorite Christian book resource center. If you’re looking for a great book to help you enjoy, savor and read the psalms, here are my top three devotional resources:
Here is today’s morning psalm. Try reading this psalm slowly after you take a few deep breaths. Invite God to help you to hear what God wants to say to you today and try to locate which word or phrase seems to really speak to you.
Psalm 2:1-2, 4, 6-9, 12c
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
They arise, the rulers of the earth;
nobles plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
The One who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord derides and mocks them.
“It is I who have appointed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.”
“Ask of me and I will make nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth as your possession.
With a rod of iron you will rule them;
like a potter’s jar you will shatter them.”
Most materials in this Daily Prayer resource are from Give Us This Day, July 2020 – a prayer resource for the Church.Text “Give” to 765.300.4244
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