Practicing a Day of Silence
In our busy lives, it is good to occasionally slow down and plan for an intentional day of rest and reflection. Two times per year, the Reality SF elders lead the staff in such a day, and many can attest to its value for long-term growth and health. Much can be said about the spiritual practice of silence, which is laid out well in this sermon and also in our recent Practices of Silence CG Material (part 1 and part 2). We invite you plan for a day of silence some time in the coming weeks. On this day, really try to disconnect from technology, social media, and email to be fully present with God. Here is a suggested reflection guide for such a day:
As you prepare for this day of silence, begin with this prayer:
Lord, you created me for peace. Would you expose the worries and idolatries that keep me oriented away from you, that I would bring them into your presence and experience how you desire to transform, speak, and comfort. Would you give me an open heart and awareness to my desires and the ways you are at work in those deep longings. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear the invitations you have for me today.
Direction for Day of Silence:
As you begin your time of silence, reflect on the following questions. Take each one in turn giving space and time for it to marinate in your soul. As you reflect on each question, write down the things you are hearing, experiencing, and wondering in each subject. We will start with an internal inventory (your own personal experience), then move to an external inventory (how you are experiencing outside influences connected to your life and ministry).
- What have I been experiencing in my own spiritual life so far this year? (Reflect and Journal)
- How am I experiencing God through my personal reading of Scripture this year? Keep in mind how God is multi-faceted: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical. (Reflect and Journal)
- What are my heart’s desires and dreams, and what does the Lord have to say about those? (Reflect, then journal; listen, then journal.)
- What are my personal fears and doubts, and what does the Lord have to say about those? (Reflect, then journal; listen, then journal.)
External Inventory of Life and Ministry:
- What have I been experiencing in my personal ministry to those around me so far this year? (Reflect and Journal)
- What are places that I want to see grow and/or develop in my personal ministry, and what does the Lord have to say about those? (Reflect, then journal; listen, then journal.)
- What are places that the Lord could grow your personal ministry that require great faith — knowing that it would be something that requires Him to accomplish, not something you can accomplish without Him? (Reflect, then journal; listen, then journal.)