Monday, March 05, 2007

Prayer...and another blog

I feel like I've very much settled into a pattern here. Our weeks consist of worship and prayer and some meals shared together, learning through book and Bible discussions and training conversations, and of course there are personal errands and chores around the house. We're each exploring different areas of ministry, and spending time hanging out as a team. I know this pattern will change as we move into the rest of the year and get involved in ministry. But right now, it's nice to have a sense of home and community, and know that will form a foundation for the rest of the year.

As to my own decision process on ministry involvement, I'm still praying and thinking along the same lines I mentioned last week. I'm feeling more and more that God is leading me towards ministry in Soshanguve, and I'm seeking a personal calling for what that might look like for me. And, I'm trying to take advantage of the three weeks remaining in our listening posture to be attentive to what God is doing and find peace in that process.

In the past week, God's been teaching me a lot about prayer, through both of the books we're reading together as a group. I'm seeing new aspects of prayer I hadn't thought about or really absorbed before. The following quote is from a book by Henri Nouwen:
"Prayer, therefore, is not introspection. It does not look inward but outward. Introspection easily can entangle us in the labyrinth of inward-looking analysis of our own ideas, feelings, and mental processes and can lead to paralyzing worries, self-absorption, and despair. Prayer is an outward, careful attentiveness to the One who invites us to an unceasing conversation." (p. 62)

For someone like me who's prone to a lot of introspection and over-thinking things, this was really helpful. Prayer isn't first of all about me--it isn't about self-analysis or even me talking to God. It's about me being attentive to what God is saying.

If you're interested in some of what we're learning together, here are the titles of the books we're working through right now:
Spiritual Direction, Henri Nouwen
Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster

I'm really enjoying reading these and talking about them with the group. If you're inclined to pick these up and read a bit, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

And, as a conclusion to this somewhat scattered update (I've been migrating from computer to computer--can you tell?), I'd like to direct you to yet another blog. (Because two of my own apparently isn't enough.) We've set up a team blog so that our friends & supporters can get to know our community as a whole, as well as catch a glimpse of life & mission here from many different perspectives. Each week, there'll be a post by a different team member. Go and check it out here!

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