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THE CAVE: DISCOVERING A PLACE OF PRAYER AND INTIMACY
I realize it is easier for me to type things than write them these days. So I am answering questions in my Order of the Mustard Seed Guide. This exercise is based on a talk by Karl Martin, Senior Pastor of Central Church, Edinburgh.
"My cave is the place in which I am able to slow down and turn off the cacophonous noise of this life to hear the voice of God instead" (p. 75, The Order of the Mustard Seed Guide).
Proskartereo - The Greek word used in Acts 2:42 when the early church "devoted" themselves to prayer. It is a very strong word describing "steadfast strength," "intense effort" and the faithful disciplined pursuit of a particular goal.
QUESTIONS FOR THE CAVE:
What form does my cave take? is there a particular place or time in the day in which I particularly seek God?
I always tell people how much I love my CAVE!
I have the blessing of being a very early riser. So I go to my "kitchen cave" desk. I make my chai tea, light my candle at my desk and have prayer time. Lately, it has started with the Celtic Prayers of the Northumbrian Community. Sometimes that involves dancing to the music they created for this liturgy. I journal and pray through the Scripture meditations for the day. When I get to the "pray for others" part, I pray for my family, the people I am making eternal investments in, and the peoples all over the world through wonderful prayer APPS. Many weekdays I join the 6:30 Prayer Watch with the Order of the Mustard Seed (OMS), and sometimes I go to the 3:30 Prayer Watch!
On Friday mornings I join the Jesuits in Scotland for an hour of contemplative prayer.
On Sunday mornings, I love my Centering Prayer time with the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA.
Mornings are my prime time, and I give it to him, but I often go into a short mid-day prayer time with the Northumbrian Community. Often it is while walking and going up to the hospital to walk the labyrinth there. I release any fears as I go in. I receive God's word to me regarding those fears in the center. I walk out returning to the world.
Midday Centering Prayer: I connect with several groups in the midday (East Mosely, UK; Jo with OMS, Presbyterians in town)
Midday Examen: OMS (not every day but many days).
Midday Contemplation: Every other Wednesday with the Jesuits in Britain called Imagine.
This is my weakest area. I have learned that I need to pray in the early evening because I get very sleepy after about 8:30! The newer Evening Prayer on the Lectio365 app and the musical version of the Evening and Compline prayers of the Northumbrian Community have been helpful. Sometimes I will go for a walk as the sun sets and listen to these.
What practical steps might I take to "devote" myself more fully to prayer?
I have wanted to grow in Centering Prayer for so long, and these groups that I have joined in the last year have been so helpful! I hope to grow in doing it on my own more often, but the accountability has been wonderful.
I am also wanting to grow more in evening prayer. George and I are doing a "no electricity" evening once a week, and that tends to lend itself to more connection with God and each other in the evening.
Every Other Month
I go to an extended CAVE time by myself, usually at a monastery. I have been going away since I was 19 years old. I am very thankful for my mentors who instilled this in me. This is a handout I give all people interested in having a Day in Prayer. There is a simpler one put out by the 24-7 people too.
I was going to write about all four, but I am breaking this up over the next four days! See you tomorrow for THE TABLE.