Spiritual amnesia is one of the great dangers on our faith journeys. Forgetfulness of God’s goodness pushes us easily into a downward spiral towards spiritual emptiness. This happened time and time again for the Israelites on the wilderness. And it happens to us if we forget God’s graceful ways, either in biblical history or in our personal history. How could we avoid this spiritual amnesia?
Spiritual disciplines have always been ways of keeping spiritual amnesia away. The most common ones are prayer, worship, Scripture reading. These are habits that anchor ourselves into God’s presence. But there are other -a bit more uncommon – spiritual habits that are very meaningful in my daily walk with God. They help me to surrender to God’s will, embrace God’s grace for my strength, and bask in God’s presence. All needed for grace-empowered Christian living.
1) Meditative Prayer Walk
I prefer to do this in the morning but any time of day is fine. I have done this together with my husband before our children were born, nowadays I slip away quietly before the rest of the family wakes up. If you do this in a group, you need to establish one rule: no talking.
“But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
who can’t see where they’re going.
I’ll be a personal guide to them,
directing them through unknown country.
I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”
(Isaiah 42:16, MSG)
The purpose of prayer walk is to enter into God’s presence while walking. It’s the very first thing I do in the morning and it is my way to start the day right by praying and listening to God. I greet God with ‘Good morning, Daddy! What do you have for me today?’ I ask God to guide me and enable me to use my time wisely. I count my blessings, pour out my concerns, and mostly listen. It is not time to think, it is time to be in God’s presence. If necessary I quiet my mind by meditating a Bible verse or a name of God.
Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” (Isaiah 30:21, MSG)
Prayer walk is about embracing the rhythms of grace for my life.
Prayer walk is about surrendering my plans, my ego, my agenda to God.
Prayer walk is about basking in his grace.
2) Spiritual Journaling
This is a very practical way to make sure that we don’t forget God’s goodness. When in drought we can go back to see how God has worked in our lives before. Then it is easier to trust that God will always take care of us even if we don’t feel his presence.
“I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places.”
(Isaiah 58:11, MSG)
I do this every day so I won’t forget what I have prayed and what God has been talking to me. I write down my prayers and any responses I hear from God. It is important to document the prayer answers, too. Even if they seem relatively insignificant. Don’t rationalize them away, just let them be there. Sometimes prayer answers come quickly, sometimes it takes years before we see anything happening. It might take decades to see some divine planning to come in full view.
It’s God’s Spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.
(Job 32:8, MSG)
Spiritual journaling is about communing with God.
Spiritual journaling keeps spiritual amnesia at bay.
Spiritual journaling is about entering into the history of God.
We need you to breath life into us,
to pour out grace upon grace on us,
to guide us clearly,
to empower us to walk closely to you,
to revive us,
Come and be our everything.
Fill us with your Spirit.
Live through us,
love through us,
reach out through us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you keep spiritual amnesia at bay?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you find your ways to nourish your soul in God’s presence!
Image courtesy of Savanna Daniel.
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