Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Best Advice from You! Spiritual Wellness

Reading time: two minutes. This week, more wisdom from you, the people at our retreats. Spiritual Wellness is an openness and receptivity to the work that God alone can do as He open-bible-w-handscomes to us by His Spirit through the Word and the Sacraments.  It’s been a pleasure for me to encourage church workers and their spouses to grow in the grace of receiving God’s blessing through a vibrant, disciplined practice of the spiritual disciplines, beginning with a life of scripture reading and prayer. I often tell about my favorite chair in my quiet place where I begin each day in devotion and prayer.  At a retreat, someone mentioned that he doesn’t pray well when sitting.  His prayer life became far more passionate and focused when he prayed while walking around. I thought he was crazy.  I was right.  Sort of.  But I haven’t forgotten what he taught me.I went home and immediately tried his advice.  It was a disaster.  Carol and I walk every morning, but it’s a fitness walk and a time to visit.  Praying as we walked, just didn’t work for me. So I tried a time of much slower, leisurely walking alone and praying.  No better.  No focus.  No good.walking-shoes I’m a “sit in the chair early in the morning with my prayer list and my Bible” kind of pray-er.  I like my prayer books and prayer guides and sitting quietly and praying as I study. But I’ll never forget what I learned from my walking friend. It’s different for him. And I expect it’s different for you, too. To paraphrase Ecclesiastes 3, there’s a time to sit and a time to walk; a time to pray alone and a time to pray together; a time for prayer lists and a time for heart-felt stirrings to prayer.  A life of prayer is a personal and individual thing. There are certainly universal guidelines for Christian prayer.  There is only one audience for our prayer, the one, true and living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We pray from a place of grace, from our Christ-restored relationship with our heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus. But each of our patterns for prayer will be shaped by our own uniqueness. My friend and I share a common desire to be faithful to our Lord’s command to pray and a jesus-praying-in-the-gardencommon confidence that the Lord answers prayer.  That’s what led us both to dive into a discipline of prayer.  The how and the when is something the two of us are still discovering as we learn and grow, as the Lord Himself teaches us to pray. The good advice I received from my brother in prayer was that it’s a journey for all of us, a journey on a path with many twists and turns and branches. I’ll be praying that God blesses you with a joyful, vibrant life of prayer on your journey! Thanks for reading. A Congregational Wellness Weekend is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.