Posts Tagged ‘Creating a Life with God’


Out of Breath?


Breath Prayer, also known as the Jesus Prayer, is the prayer practice that first challenged me in HeartPaths. I think this is because of two facts:

  1. I’m a little wary of “mantras.” And essentially, breath prayer is about repeating one phrase often.
  2. Breath prayer requires that you empty the mind and just allow God to fill the space in that emptiness.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a blogger might have trouble emptying her mind! Add to that the “counselor brain” and it’s darned near impossible. But, I now rely upon breath prayer for certain situations, so obviously I navigated my way through these two “mine fields” successfully. Let’s examine the practice:

The Jesus Prayer stems from what blind Bartimaeus said to Jesus in the hopes of Jesus healing him: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Simply by naming Jesus we are inviting Him into our midst and asking Him to take us as we are (warts and all) and to help us in whatever way Jesus/the Holy Spirit feels will yield healing for us.


Slow Reader Friday: Creating a Life with God…

giving hands

Howdy, MIP Book Club Fans! I hope you have enjoyed Creating a Life with God by Daniel Wolpert. This book has pretty much been our “textbook” for HeartPaths and thus, we are just now finishing reading all the chapters.

In fact we have read the chapters out of order to ensure that we’re informing ourselves about the spiritual practices corresponding to what we’re studying in HeartPaths. The longer I’m in the HeartPaths program the more I’m convinced that the leaders of the program have paid particular attention to presenting material in a certain order so that we learn the easiest spiritual disciplines first and then “graduate” to the trickier ones later. Quite obviously Daniel Wolpert doesn’t completely agree with our little order.

Even so, this book is really helpful for introducing me to these disciplines and I also appreciate Wolpert’s very readable format. I am not required to have a Ph.D. like C. S. Lewis (and maybe a translator?) in order to understand the topics being discussed. And, if you don’t have an e-reader, this book is much easier to carry around than Soul Feast. 

Unlike Soul Feast Wolpert’s book explores, in depth, several prayer practices, such as Examen, Lectio Divina, Body Prayer, Breath Prayer, and Centering Prayer as well as journaling, creativity, praying in nature and corporate worship. There are lots of practical suggestions on how to use each pursuit to deepen your relationship with God. Here are just a few examples:

“One of the best ways to begin practicing solitude is to notice times when silence occurs naturally in our day…we can appreciate these times and savor them. We can use these times to turn inward and attend to our feelings.”

“One of the best times for me to pray the Jesus Prayer is at night when I cannot sleep.” (This works, by the way, and this is a chronic insomniac talking.)

“Your eating and meal preparation present rich avenues for prayer…take the time to think about your food. Everything you are eating came from the earth…so that you may be sustained…These…reflect the presence of a loving God…”

If you haven’t yet taken the time to create (emphasis on create!) your prayer life and time with God, then, I wholeheartedly recommend that you consult Wolpert for some fresh suggestions on how to do that now. What you might create is a brand new you!

Monday’s Post: Get your word nerd on

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Soul Feast and Slow Reader Friday: The Early to Rise Experience


Looking for God in Your Journal…


Journaling, as you might suspect, is rather easy for me. Time and again, my non-writer friends tell me that they admire me keeping a journal and swear that they can’t do it. I tell them it’s because their definition of a journal is way too narrow.

If you thought journaling was just for Bridget Jones, Princess Mia and Anne Frank, and that you could only write prose in a journal, here’s the truth: you can color, draw, doodle, make lists, and write poems in a journal, too. In fact mine is usually a conglomeration of several of the above.

In reality that journal is yours. Thus, you can put whatever you want in it. You can write your thoughts  in a spiral, turning your journal every which way to create a path to the center of the page or wherever you want it to go. An exchange student friend of my daughter’s was a great artist and filled her journal pages with drawings that reflected her thoughts about being so far away from home. She allowed us to see portions of it and it was just beautiful! Others like to put inspirational quotes or Bible verses in their journals.