Making Space to Connect with God

Many of us are feeling the weight of what is happening in our nation. We are pouring out at work and at home. What is pouring into you? How are you getting replenished? God wants to replenish us. All we need is to make space for God to speak into our lives.

Join us as we make rhythms each week to explore practices that help us connect with God. Below you will find the rhythm and the practice for this 6 week series.

Rhythm: Reading the Bible

Practice for the Week:
Justice Devotional through Bible Project

To get started, watch this video with Daniel and Jimmy.

How will we do it? What tools exist to help us? We’re going to invite everyone to download the YouVersion Bible App if you haven’t already. We went ahead and picked a plan that we found extremely appropriate for our time and super accessible. It’s a three day reading plan about Justice created by The Bible Project.

The YouVersion App has made accessing the Bible really easy, but if you don’t like to read on screens, or you find it distracting to read the Bible on your device, you can definitely do the readings in a good old fashioned paper Bible and read the devotionals later.

If you join this YouVersion reading plan with us, it will allow us to share our thoughts and have a conversation right in the Bible App. Reading the Bible alone can be good, but it’s so much better when we’re reading and engaging in community with one another.

Sign up for the reading plan here.

Going Deeper:

Check out this video from The Bible Project for deeper study and understanding.

Rhythm 2: Prayer

Practice for the Week:
Lectio Divina – Psalm 19:1-14

This week we are going to explore a  contemplative prayer practice called Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina is a contemplative way to pray through reading the Bible. Often when we pray, we focus on what we are asking for. Much of our prayer is about speaking to God, but Lectio Divina invites us to listen to God more than speak.

It dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church and was established as a monastic practice. The prayer time is slow and savored, which allows the scripture to speak to us personally and helps us to connect with God more deeply.

We will practice this using Psalm 19 together. The prayer reading plan is below. Make sure to give yourself at least 15 minutes to really enter into this practice.

Going Deeper:

Want to make it a rhythm? A tool you can use to do this practice more is the Lectio 365 app. It has daily Lectio Divina prayers that you can use and share. Check it out!

Rhythm 3: Worship

Practice for the Week:

To get started, watch this video with Trevor.

This week we are going to explore the rhythm of worship. As Trevor shared in the video above, worship is whatever we ascribe worth to. What do you ascribe worth to? Most of us ascribe worth to many things. The questions for us are: Are those the right things? What do we worship most?

For this week, we have three worship exercises to go through on different days. Each exercise is 10 minutes long. Feel free to choose what three days work best for you. Use the PDF attached below to instruct your time.

Going Deeper:

Worship is more than a rhythm of our life. It is our life. It is how we live. As Trevor shared, we are designed and created to worship. So it is not a matter of whether or not we are worshiping, its more of a question of “what” are we worshiping.

To make worship a rhythm is actually what this six week series is all about. Making space in our lives to take inventory of what we are worshiping and making sure God is the focus of our worship. It is to look honestly and boldly at what our heart gives worth to.

Rhythm 4: Prayer

Practice for the Week:
Prayer – Praying In Color

This week we are going to explore Praying in Color. What is Praying in Color? Simply put, it is prayer + doodling.

Reasons to Pray in Color:

  1. You want to pray but words escape you.
  2. Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.
  3. Your body wants to be part of your prayer.
  4. You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.
  5. Listening to God feels like an impossible task.
  6. Your mind wanders and your body complains.
  7. You want a visual, concrete way to pray.
  8. You need a new way to pray.

We invite you to Pray in Color as we pray an intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the act of praying to God on behalf of others. We will pray for family, friends, and people that are on our hearts.

The final prayer drawing can be placed at home as a visual reminder to pray for those people again.

Here is what you need to get started:

  • Paper, pen, colored markers/pencils/pens (optional), and something to put your paper on.

Before you begin:

  • Spend some time on your “doodling vocabulary” – You don’t need to be an artist!
    • Draw shapes that you can think of. Don’t forget about those blobs and amoeba shapes!
    • How can you embellish or add to those shapes?
      • Lines, dots, scallops, etc.
  • Spend some time thinking of names for God
    • Write out names for God as they come to you. Don’t forget that you can add adjectives to these names.
      • Example: Gracious God, Beloved Creator, Loving Father, etc.
    • Choose one of your names for God to use in your prayer

Going Deeper:

Want to make this a rhythm? For more ways to pray in color, including downloadable handouts, check out prayingincolor.com.

Rhythm 5: Gratitude

Practice for the Week:

Gratitude has long been a foundational pillar of Christianity, as well as a tenet of pretty much every other religion on earth. The benefits of gratitude aren’t just limited to the spiritual world. It is also a major focus of modern science. Researchers have linked gratitude to all kinds of mental and physical benefits in our lives. Check out this video if you want to learn more.

For the next 5 days, take time to think & write down one thing you are thankful for that day and why. Keep a list for the week. (You can set an alarm on your phone if you need a reminder each day!)

On Saturday, reflect back on your list from the week. Take time to thank God for the people, experiences, or things that He has blessed you with.

Going Deeper:

Want to make this a rhythm? Here’s some ideas to try:

1. Journal/ Write

  • Try to write down what you’re thankful for, no matter how small. You can do this every day or once a week, on your phone or in a good old fashioned paper notebook. Just try something!

2. Social Media

  • Social Media is linked to unhappiness and anxiety. Basically, it’s the opposite of gratitude. But if we can establish healthy boundaries and attitudes toward the way we use social media rather than being used by social media, we can experience something good and life giving through connection with others. Head to Instagram and check out @cellardesigns (Sarah Stevens, who attends Blackhawk) on a Tuesday for a her weekly rhythm called “GratiTuesday”. This is a great example of using social media to practice gratitude.

3. Schedule Gratitude

  • Set a reminder on your phone or put a sticky note on your mirror so that you can trigger your brain to be thankful at some point in the day.

4. Pray and Meditate

  • Establish gratitude as a consistent part of your prayer life. Or simply set aside space and time to focus solely on what you’re thankful for.

Rhythm 6: Silence & Solitude

Practice for the Week:
Silence & Solitude

To get started, watch this video with Daniel and Michelle.

This week is about spending time listening to God and quieting the noise. Silence and solitude are things that center us and allow us to let God speak into our hearts.

The practice this week is to take 1 hour or more to be quiet with God. Find a great spot on a hiking trail or a cozy chair in your home and just sit with God.

We have included a guide that will help you with your time and the different thoughts that will come to mind. We really hope you find it to be a time of connection with God and replenishing for your soul.

Going Deeper:

To make this a rhythm, a person would need to simply do it more regularly. It could look like taking 1 hour a week and then doing a 4 hour time once a month. The best part about doing it more often is that working through the external and internal noises will get easier.

A resource that speaks to living like Christ and adopting Jesus’ rhythms in your life is “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer. Michelle and I strongly recommend it.

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