“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.” John Wesley
Prayer is essential to our Christian life. Just like I need a daily physical exercise plan and structure, I also need a structured daily plan to focus and hold myself accountable to exercising and strengthening my spiritual life through prayer.
One simple structure I use is a combination of Lectio Divina and the Revised Common Lectionary (RLC) passages assigned for the week.
Lectio Divina is a slow contemplative way of praying the Scriptures. In Lectio Divina, God teaches us to listen and seek God and God’s will for the world in stillness, silence, and prayer. Through the contemplation of Scripture and prayer, God gently invites us ever more deeply into his presence and outward in concern for others in our families, our churches, our communities, and our world. When we pray for others, we kneel at their feet and silently wash over their lives, their concerns, and hopes with the waters of earnest intercessory prayer.
Our relationship with God is both personal and communal. By praying for others we also proclaim that we are connected to one another and concerned for each other’s spiritual and temporal wellbeing as God’s children.
The RLC lectionary follows a three-year cycle of passages that assigns for each Sunday and Christian holiday readings from The Old Testament, The Psalms, The Epistles or other writings, and one of the four Gospels.
The use of the weekly lectionary passages as a focus for prayer ensures that we hear the various voices and lessons of Scripture and frees us from captivity to our favorite texts. Use of the Lectionary allows us to learn from the whole of Scripture, invites us to consider how multi-faceted and rich the message of Scripture is, and prevents us from focusing only on the messages of Scripture with which we are comfortable and so avoid the challenge that prayer based on Scripture brings.
LORD, hear my prayers; pay attention to my request, because you are faithful; answer me in your righteousness (Psalm 143:1). Spirit of Christ, be my hope through the day, be my guard through the night, my companion on the way. Christ be ever before me, Christ be ever behind me, Christ be ever within me (The Song of Saint Patrick). Amen.
Monday, July 10, 2017 – Genesis 25:25-29
Pray for those that are on the verge of abandoning their Christian faith without having any clue about or careful regard for what they are walking away from.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – Psalm 119:105-112
Pray for those that are holding fast to their faith despite severe afflictions.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – Isaiah 55:10-13
Pray for those that received the Word of the Lord and are now being led back into God’s peace, joy, beauty, and acceptance.
Thursday, July 13, 2017 – Psalm 65:1-5
Pray for those that have been forgiven and delivered by God to respond with praise, worship, and fulfillment of their vows (prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness).
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Psalm 65:6-13
Pray for the prosperity of the farmers and ranchers in Kansas and Nebraska.
Saturday, July 15, 2017 – Romans 8:1-11
Pray that our people and congregations would please God by setting our mind on the things of the Spirit to attain life and peace and in turn offer it to the world.
Sunday, July 16, 2017 – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Pray that the Word (seeds) of faith sown by pastors and laity this Sunday into the lives of the hearers of the Word will yield thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold in acts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Pray for those in danger of having their faith snatched away because of persecution, troubles, the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth.