Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Spiritual (lack of?) Disciplines

I've been thinking about this, and I guess the answer changes over time as I or my needs change. Coming from a mainline denomination, I loved three-hymns-and-an-anthem-type services. And I still love the hymns so much. But I now love the praise and worship I find in some other churches, the freedom to stand up with arms upraised in praise and *affection* to my Creator, Lord and Savior.

In dh's mainline church the other night, I heard the most beautiful new Christmas songs about worshiping. It was very hard for me to sit there and not participate as above. I wouldn't say they weren't worshiping as they sat there, listening, participating with full hearts. But my favorite form of worship is different, now.

(One dictionary gives "affection" as a definition of "reverence." And it's not to get attention, but is based on the scripture, "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless (make happy) the Lord." Or the last of the Psalms, which even call for dance. Why not?)

Now that we're retired, I love my newest ritual--pour a cup of coffee and get back under the kivvers with coffee and Bible. I go over previous sermon notes, or just freely look through the Word to see what stands out that day. Moreover, I find if I'm in an organized Bible study with daily homework, Beth Moore being a favorite, I see God's hand in my life more than when I'm not. I love to sit there with pen in hand and underline and make notes in the margin. This morning, I learned that Herod was an Edomite. Edom is where the descendants of Esau went. That figures, huh? I visited the capital of Edom--Petra. Fascinating place, featured in my wip.

I find this topic a most interesting study, possibly coming true as we speak: Click here.

Then there's one I'm not very good at, fasting. Derek Prince once wrote that we speak about prayer, we ask for prayer, we rejoice in answers to prayer, we discuss prayer. But we've almost lost a great spiritual weapon, fasting, because we don't talk about doing it. The few times I've been successful at it, I can't even say I've seen direct answers to the prayers I prayed. They were huge, long-range prayers and I haven't seen the answer yet, unless it's "Wait." Or sometimes, fasting and praying for someone's healing, and they were not healed. But I didn't feel ignored for it. And God has His reasons.

"I believe, therefore, I speak." I'm seeing if praying aloud is more effective in my relationship with the Lord than is praying silently. I love the discipline and the lack of "discipline" in prayer, a running conversation with my constant Companion.

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