Contemplation: a different approach

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Introduction

Do you find contemplation difficult, or even impossible? Does your mind constantly slip away from observing the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations bubbling up within you, becoming caught up with them, instead? If so, you might like to try a different approach.

A fresh approach

1. Sit, lie, or stand comfortably, or walk, if you feel restless.

2. Ask God to help you with everything you are going to share with him.

3. Let your breathing be however it is. If you are still, you can close your eyes if you wish.

4. Notice the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations arising within you, and share them honestly with God. You can do this silently, or aloud, whatever suits you best. Tell him anything you want to, even if you think you shouldn’t feel, or think, that way.

5. Ask God to help you with each issue you tell him about, listening for his still, small voice in response. It doesn’t matter if you move on to a new concern before you have finished talking to him about something else. It doesn’t matter if you fall asleep. You are always in God’s arms, like a little child, and he already knows everything you are experiencing and sharing with him. This kind of contemplation is about being yourself, and being honest with God.

6. Do this for whatever amount of time you wish, long or short; again, it doesn’t matter. Thank God for listening, understanding, caring, and helping you. Then continue with your day.

Conclusion

With practice, you may find that you can continue sharing your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations with God whilst you are doing simple tasks. He lives within you, so you can commune with him in your heart whenever, and wherever, you want.

In time, always aware of his presence, you will unhesitatingly share everything with him, and this is a vital part of what it means to love both God and yourself.

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References

Introduction

As I stood there is silence – not even speaking of good things – the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words (Psalm 39:2-3; NLT).

A fresh approach

1. Be still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37:7; NLT).

I cannot be still (Jeremiah 4:19; NLT).

2. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14; NLT).

3. The life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being (Job 12:10; NLT).

4. Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Lord, you are searching for honesty (Proverbs 11:5; NLT).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

5. He will be gracious if you ask for help (Isaiah 30:19; NLT).

Tell God what you need (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Listen to his voice (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

He knows the secrets of every heart (psalm 44:21; NLT).

6. Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help (Psalm 86:5; NLT).

Conclusion

I know the Lord is always with me (Psalm 16:8; NLT).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:4,6; NLT).

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

Commune with your own heart (Psalm 77:6; KJV).

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB).

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength (Mark 12:29; NLT).

Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).

Nothing

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I know the Lord is always with me
(Psalm 16:8; NLT).

1. Nothing can come
Between me and my Lord.

2. Nothing can wipe out
His care.

3. Nothing can stop us
Communing each day.

4. Nothing can silence
My prayer.

 


References

1. Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; NLT).

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night – but even in darkness I cannot hide from you (Psalm 139:7-12; NLT).

2. He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

3. Listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

He hears my voice (Psalm 116:1; NLT).

4. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).

Waiting

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Father,

1. May I worship you
With every breath I take,

2. Rejoicing in your holy name,
Although my heart may ache;

3. Communing with you constantly,
Although I feel alone,

4. And waiting for the day
When you will lead my spirit home.

 


References

1. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendour (1 Chronicles 16:29; NLT).

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4; NLT).

2. Rejoice before him – his name is the Lord (Psalm 68:4; NIV).

Even in laughter the heart may ache (Proverbs 14:13; NIV).

3. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB).

Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress (Psalm 25:16; NLT).

4. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:2; NLT).

Wait for the Lord (Psalm 37:34; NIV).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care (Jeremiah 31:9; NLT).

Start afresh

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Lord,

1. May I start afresh today,
And leave my setbacks
Far behind.

2. May I try again, Lord,
To be patient, frank,
And kind.

3. May my heart and mind
Commune with yours, Lord:
Silent, still,

4. As I listen for your quiet voice,
So I may do
Your will.


References

1. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:23; NLT).

Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you (Job 11:4; NLT).

2. Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city (Proverbs 16:32; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people (2 Timothy 2:24; NLT).

Love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish (Luke 6:35; RSV).

3. Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

Be silent before the Sovereign Lord (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Be still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 37:7; NLT).

4. After the fire came a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12; NIV).

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go” (Isaiah 30:21; NLT).

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing (Psalm 143:10; NLT).

Stay close

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If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing
(John 15:5; NLT).

Lord,

1. May my hands stay close to yours
In all I do today.

2. May my feet stay close to yours,
However hard the way.

3. May my thoughts stay close to yours,
Then we will share one mind.

4. May my heart stay close to yours,
So all my words are kind.

5. May my soul stay close to yours,
Communing without cease –

6. Then we will be united, Lord,
In love, and joy, and peace.


References

1. Do everything with love (1 Corinthians 16:14; NLT).

2. Walk in the light as he is in the light (1 John 1:7; NIV).

3. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; NLT).

4. We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

5. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).

This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him (Luke 9:35; NLT).

Pray about everything (Philippians 4:6; NLT).

Pour out your heart to him (Psalm 62:8; NLT).

6. You have been united with Christ (Ephesians 2:13; NLT).

Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us (Colossians 3:11; NLT).

What is important is faith expressing itself in love (Galatians 5:6; NLT).

You will live in joy and peace (Isaiah 55:12; NLT).

In your presence

1. Father,
I am always in your presence.
Please help me to remember you today –
Constantly attentive to your guidance,
The still, small voice within, that shows the way.

2. Father,
I am always in your presence.
Please help me to remain in you today –
Constantly rejoicing in your goodness,
And following your Son, so I don’t stray.

3. Father,
I am always in your presence.
Please help me to commune with you today –
Constantly confessing my transgressions,
Always quick to listen, and obey.

4. Father,
I am always in your presence.
Please help me to unite with you today –
Constantly beseeching your forgiveness,
And serving you in all I do, and say.


References

1. You have brought me into your presence forever (Psalm 41:12; NLT).

Remember the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 8:18; NLT).

After the fire [came] a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12; NKJV).

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go” (Isaiah 30:21; NLT).

2. Remain in me, and I will remain in you (John 15:4; NLT).

Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16; NIV).

May your faithful people rejoice in your goodness (2 Chronicles 6:41; NIV).

If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

3. Commune with your own heart (Psalm 77:6; KJV).

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; NIV).

If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just (1 John 1:9; NLT).

Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

4. Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; NIV).

“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me. Heal me, for I have sinned against you” (Psalm 41:4; NLT).

Serve only the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 13:4; NLT).

Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father (Colossians 3:17; NLT).