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Archive for May 25th, 2021

Spiritual Discipline

MEDITATION:

Written by Dallas Willard  (1935-2013), an American philosopher and writer on Christian spiritual formation.  This is an excerpt from his work “The Divine Conspiracy.”

To put off the old person and put on the new we only follow Jesus into activities that he engaged in to nurture his own life in relation to the Father. Of course, his calling and mission was out of all proportion to ours, and he never had our weaknesses, which result from our long training in sin. But his use of solitude, silence, study of scripture, prayer, and service to others all had a disciplinary aspect in his life. And we can be very sure that what he found useful for conduct of his life in the Father will also be useful for us. It was an important day in my life when at last I understood that if he needed forty days in the wilderness at one point, I very likely could use three or four.

This crucial point carries on down through the ages during which his people have been on earth. The ones who have made great spiritual progress all seriously engaged with a fairly standard list of disciplines for the spiritual life. There has been abuse and misunderstanding, no doubt, but the power of solitude, silence, meditative study, prayer, sacrificial giving, service, and so forth as disciplines are simply beyond question. This is a field of knowledge, and we remain ignorant of it to our great disadvantage.

PRAYER:

Written by Dallas Willard, author of today’s meditation.  It is a paraphrase that highlights elements of the Lord’s Prayer.

Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us —
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours — forever- which is just the way we want it!

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