Find Your Monastery Bells
By Josh Porter
Begin with prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief Last Week’s Practice
- Did last week’s conversation about defining expectations shape your paradigm for participation in the week that followed?
- How can you continue to hold one another accountable to the expectation?
Read this overview
Paul tells the Christians in Colossae, “we have not stopped praying for you.” Paul talks about prayer this way all the time. In 1 Thessalonians he tells disciples of Jesus then and now, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16-18).
A state of constant, unbroken communion with God sounds, to us, impossibly farfetched. And yet, Paul neither qualifies not diminishes the command: “Pray without ceasing.” Of this ongoing prayerful disposition, Dallas Willard argued, “Anyone who wants to actively love God all the time can do this. A child can do it, as well as those who have no special qualifications or advantages.”
Unceasing prayer can be learned by any disciple of Jesus. We just need practice.
Talk about the coming week’s practice as a Community (10-30 minutes)
This week, try implementing a few new rhythms and techniques to bring your heart and mind before God at new times and in new ways.
Begin with adjustments, not an overhaul.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Wake up fifteen minutes earlier to spend time in prayer. If you already have a good morning routine for Scripture and prayer, add a few minutes.
- Set a timer on your watch or phone for the same time every day. When the alarm sounds, spend just a few moments redirecting your heart and mind to God.
Find your monastery bells.
Designante certain times, places, and/or things as prayer prompts.
- Spend a few minutes of your commute in prayer.
- Pray while washing dishes or doing other mindless chores.
- Pray every time your baby cries, or your toddler pulls at your leg, or your child asks you for something.
- Pray every time you pass a certain door or window. In the beginning, stick a reminder to that object as a visual cue.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
- How would you currently describe your prayer rhtyhms?
- How do you want to mature in prayer?
- A year from now, how do you hope to describe your prayer rhythms?