Living more fully into your life with Christ takes place by taking small steps. If you sense that God is inviting you to a better, closer relationship, how can you effectively answer the invitation? You cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results. That’s a description of insanity, right? If you need to know God better (who doesn’t?), then new habits must be implemented.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Living more fully into your life with Christ takes place in the normal routines of everyday life. One of the mistakes made in urging folks to know God better is to only recommend practices that isolate them such as, solitude, retreats, or silence. I’ve made this mistake often because these practices are so challenging yet good for the soul.
Popular Christian formation writer Dallas Willard differentiates various spiritual practices as disciplines of “abstinence” or “engagement.” As helpful as these categories are, he sets up a false dichotomy. Most of the disciplines of “abstinence” are actually practices that engagingly battle against deep issues in our life. This kind of dualistic thinking leads to confusion. We may hesitate to begin practices that are truly helpful.
We need to begin more simply yet fully.
Though I may sound like a broken record, I want to invite you to a practice that includes many of the “disciplines” all in one simple, package. Its practice is also “biblical” and in obedience to Christ’s teachings.
As the saying goes: “You eat the elephant one bite at a time.” or “The journey of a lifetime begins with one step.”
Here is one bite towards fullness and one step towards a deepening journey with God…
Say the Lord’s Prayer at least three times every day.
Our Father in heaven, hollowed beYour name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Simple. Doable. Effective.
This can be done in the quiet of your own home. The prayer can be said while driving. The words can be spoken out loud or silently. You can say them before you get out of bed in the morning and when you get into bed at night; during a boring meeting or in the middle of a traumatic event. Saying these words can ward off anger and lessen frustrations. A good suggestion is to say the prayer before you eat.
Set an alarm on your phone to remind you – 6:00am, 12:00 noon, 6:00pm; or 9:00am, 12:00pm, and 3:00pm. Whatever it takes to make it a regular part of your day, do it.
Don’t be concerned with “feeling” the words or even understanding their full meaning. Say them with sincerity of heart and mind, focusing your attention on Jesus Christ.
Most commonly, saying the Lord’s Prayer will move your heart into a much different place. At the least, it will move your mind to a better place. At the most, it will move your heart into the heart of God – communion.
Trying to carve out 30 minutes for morning devotions might be too much for you. Reading your Bible for 10 minutes might be too hard right now. But, this prayer is simple, doable, and effective.
When you engage the Lord’s Prayer like this, your life and relationship with God will become fuller and more flourishing.
“You will show me the paths of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16.11)
Why not start today.
Share your experiences of putting this into practice.