You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-6
God, I give thanks for your Word. You know me better than I know myself. Open my mind and heart to the way you want to speak to me through the Bible. Amen
To Let the Bible read you through Lectio Divina (divine reading - described below)
One of the most ancient ways to experience the Bible comes through a practice called lectio divina (Latin for "divine reading"). The practice moves through four phases with an underlying confidence that God speaks to us whenever we read the Bible. The first step is to read the passage over and over, savoring each word and waiting for one to rise above the rest. Once a single word or phrase sticks in your mind, you begin to explore the word. What feelings, emotions or memories does it evoke? After a time of experiencing the word, it's time to ask and listen to God for the answer to what this word is meant to say to you. Why this word? What is God saying? Finally, use the word as a focus point to let go of every distracting thought so that you can rest in the presence of God.
Over the next 21 days, Aldersgate UMC is invited into an intentional time of prayer for ourselves and our community, You will be receiving a daily email (FaceBook blasts too!) with scripture, questions, prayer, and a daily challenge to use during your personal prayer and devotional time. The prayers used will come from a new resource by Justin LaRosa, a UMC Deacon from Hyde Park UMC in Tampa FL. The resource is called “the Jesus Challenge” - 21 Days of loving God and Neighbor. Some other prayers will be adapted to include specific prayers for our Aldersgate community.