8. 19.22 How We Live Our Lives
How we live our lives says a lot about what’s important to us. If we bookend the day with prayers and devotions, we are saying that God is very important in our lives. If we look for His presence throughout our days and what He is saying to us, then we are actively following Jesus Christ in all that we do. We don’t have to be in a monastery to live this sort of life. We can live it in the world, our work, families, and leisure time.
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is the first thing I do in my morning prayers. I read today’s passage and look up the references in the Bible. Then I work with a journaling guide to a book of the Bible or, like today, I am following 40 days with Howard Thurman. I journal the answer to each of the day’s questions. And then I pray for our country and the world and people I know who need solace and His presence.
Throughout my days I am watching for God’s presence everywhere—in the beauty of the clouds and trees and landscape, in the birds at my bird feeder or the deer in my neighborhood. I feel His nudges/suggestions for what to do now. I hear His voice in what a friend or neighbor suggests to me to do or read that seems to resonate with me. Occasionally, in my life, I have actually heard Him speak directly to me in my mind. I no longer keep a gratitude journal, but I do express my gratitude for all that He does in my life, all that He suggests to me, because I do what He is asking me to do.
At night I say the Lord’s Prayer as I settle in to sleep. I often wake in the middle of the night, sometimes with worries on my mind. And I prayer then for His peace, again saying the Lord’s prayer and go back to sleep. Following God is a privilege and a huge boost to love and peace and joy and patience in my life; in fact it is a big boost to the growth of all the fruit of the spirit within us (Galatians 5:22-23).
I am sure that there are many ways to do this depending on the person who’s committed to God with their own selves. I highly recommend Centering Prayer and The Daily Examen, which is like doing a gratitude journal, silent prayer, memorizing Bible verses, and so much more. Each of can choose what God calls us to do, and enjoy all the benefits of that choice.