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Exploring the Rhythm of the Spiritual Life

by Deedra Rich

What is your earliest memory of prayer?

As a young child I can remember sitting around the dinner table as a family member prayed before meals. I remember our prayer at bed time and how I never could quite recall the words to “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.”

“Couldn’t I just make up my own prayer?” I wondered.

Since then prayer is becoming more and more integrated into my daily life. As I read Romans 12:1-2, (quoted from The Message)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

In that passage, I hear that all of our life is intended to be an act of worship, an act of prayer. As I began to explore how peeling carrots, doing laundry, and mowing the lawn can be an act of prayer, I discovered the brothers and sisters at the Benedictine monasteries. They live their life with such intentionality, such rhythm to their day. Their rhythm of prayer, work, and rest allows them to see and recognize God in their daily lives and in world around them. For me such awareness and intentionality in my relationship with God feeds my spirit, while deepening and often challenging my spiritual journey.

In May, Carl McColman is leading an opportunity for men to gather at a Benedictine monastery  and spend a contemplative week in retreat together. This will be a time of learning and experiencing the Benedictine rhythm of life as well as engaging in contemplative prayer and dialogue.

If you are interested in joining Carl for this time, you can find more information and registration details here.