formation friday: a shifters prayer

kathyescobar formation friday, spiritual formation 17 Comments

blog a shifters prayer* small blog tweaks continue.  starting this friday i’m going to try to share some kind of spiritual reflection-formation-exercise piece.  like anything here, some of you might like it, others might not find it helpful.  for me, i always need  intention & space, no matter how short or simple, to help me continually turn my heart toward God.  

* * * * *

earlier this year, during lent, jose and i read parables to the twins every night before we went to bed.  it was really fun to talk about those crazy stories and process possibilities of the challenging truths that come out of them.  then, a month or so before summer started we decided to read through the entire bible together starting at the beginning in a version that’s easier to understand.  oh, it’s been interesting!  we took a break during summer and when we started back we are smack in the middle of the exodus and now the book of joshua.  almost every night we read the story and kind of sit there a bit rattled and go “wow, that’s tough.”  lots of people dying & being made slaves & being stoned for stealing. i find myself wanting to just go back to matthew, mark, luke and john as fast as i can.  seriously.  but we are going to keep pressing forward, talking about it, wrestling with it, trying to seek the bigger truth in it all.

it made me think of how much we’ve shifted.  and how scary that shift can feel.

so today i wanted to try a little prayer exercise.  it’s simple, nothing fancy.  we did one on wednesday night at our house of refuge using a modified version of this template (if you haven’t done it before, it’s a really fun one).  and i have shared the doubter’s prayer before and  an expanded one in down we go as well as a template for seasons in our journey. but i thought it might be good for some of us who are rebuilding after deconstructing to take time to share with God some of our thoughts and feelings about these shifts and gain some strength to stay the course by remembering not only what we don’t see or don’t know but maybe what we do.   

you can download the template here as pdf.   or here are some prompts or feel free to let it rip in whatever direction you’d like.

a shifter’s prayer 

God, i used to think you were… (any qualities of God that you used to really believe) 

i used to be able to say to others, to myself… (one or two phrases that you were sure of in your faith)

when i read the Bible i used to feel… (several feeling words)

now i sometimes feel… (several feeling words)

oh, how i miss… (several things you miss about your faith before)

but God, i’m trying to lean into the present, to experiencing you in new ways.

i see you in… (several areas of your life where you are seeing God somehow, some way)

i feel you in… (several areas of your life where you are feeling God somehow, some way)

i hear you in… (several areas of your life where you are hearing God somehow, some way)

i smell you in… (several areas of your life where you might smell God somehow, some way)

i touch you when i touch… (several areas of your life where you are touching God somehow, some way)

thank you for these gifts. 

despite all the things i don’t know, i can still cling to this…. (one truth that is sustaining you right now)

and for that i, too, am thankful.  

God, please keep sustaining me in these shifts.

i do want more of you in my life.  

amen.

here’s mine:

God, i used to think you were clear, crystal clear

i used to be able to say to others, to myself,  ”God’s in control”

when i read the Bible i used to feel secure, relieved.

now i sometimes feel scared and confused. 

oh, how i miss the certainty, the comfort in knowing what now i do not know.  

but God, i’m trying to lean into the present, to experiencing you in new ways.

i see you in people, your beautiful people. 

i feel you in the quiet of my car, in deep places in my heart, when i’m near water, when i laugh 

i hear you in the voices of my children, when my friends say “i feel loved” 

i smell you in the crisp fall morning air when i am on my walk 

i touch you when i touch pain

thank you for these gifts. 

and despite all the things i don’t know, i can still cling to this:  ”You are with me.”  

and for that i, too, am thankful. 

God, please keep sustaining me in these shifts.

i do want more of you in my life.  

amen.   

 

if you’re willing to share yours, that would be awesome.  it is so great to gain strength from each other.

 

see you monday as we start this new series of interviews with friends on “what it’s like…”  have a great weekend! peace, kathy