downloadable PDF: Take 10 with God
by Andrea Weaver & Laura Fonte
As we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation and Mary’s YES and as we approach the High Holy Days, consider spending 10 minutes in the morning with God. Just as we choose to spend time with a new friend in order to grow the relationship, we must do the same with God. Over time, we are able to develop an intimacy akin to that of a spouse, dear sibling or best friend.
It is helpful to build your prayer time into your regular schedule – for example, in the morning with a cup of coffee before you “officially” begin your day. Also, you might want to set a calendar event or reminder on your phone to prompt you. Life can be so distracting!
A Prayer Corner
For those who are new to spending time regularly with our Triune God, the first session can be used to prepare your “prayer corner” where you will be able to go and meet God. Consider a comfortable and quiet place in your home. In that space, you might want to include any of the following items:
- A Bible
- Give Us This Day or another devotional
- Paper, pen and markers
- A cross or crucifix
- A candle and lighter
- A prayer shawl
- A few inspirational books – especially those that have short essays or beautiful photos or a passage for the day. You may want to gather some in a little basket.
- Music – perhaps on your phone – you might want to make a playlist of songs that remind you of God’s love. Andrea has a Spotify playlist with 200+ songs she is happy to share!
- Holy water
- A favorite picture, photo, prayer card, icon or work of art
- Over time, you may want to add items that remind you of your journey with God – like a seashell
At your designated time, go to your prayer corner.
To prepare your Spirit, consider doing one of the following:
- Lighting a candle and inviting Gd – Source of All Light – to be with you
- Putting on a prayer shawl and asking God to wrap you in God’s love
- Blessing yourself with holy water asking God to protect and cleanse you
- Taking three deep, slow breaths – inviting the Holy Spirit – Breath of Life – to fill you. With each exhale, release all that is worrying you or weighing you down.
- Sing or recite “Come Holy Ghost”
Imagine God there with you and greet God.
Below are some of the ways that we have found helpful to spend our time with God. We never do all of these in one prayer session. Ask God to put on your heart where to start. Then, trust the Spirit to lead you. It’s a journey! Be aware – sometimes we might even fall into a holy sleep.
1. Write a letter to God. If you sense God’s response, jot it down.
2. Follow the format for PRAY:
- Praise & Thanksgiving
- Repent (what did we do that we wish we hadn’t or what did we fail to do and you can ask God to put it on your heart)
- Ask for what you need and want – for yourself and others in the same way you may ask a parent, spouse or best friend
- Yield – God’s way – not our way “Thy will be done”
3. Choose a Bible passage, read through it and imagine yourself as one of the characters in the scene. What are you reactions?
4. Draw a picture or color in a sheet. Bro. Mickey McGrath online is making many available through emails.
5. Ask God for a song – and imagine God singing it to you or you singing it to God.
6. Say the Jesus Prayer. Breathe in: Lord Jesus Christ. Breathe out: Son of God. Breathe in: have mercy on me. Breathe out: a sinner (or a different phrase like: Your precious daughter).
7. Repeat another simple prayer or phrase like “I believe. Help my unbelief.”
8. Sing the refrain to a prayerful song like that of Lead Me Lord: “Be my way, be my truth, my life and light Oh Lord and Lead me Lord today!” or from Yes, Lord, Yes “I say YES Oh Lord to Your will and to your way. I say YES oh Lord. I will honor and obey. When your Spirit speaks to me with my whole heart I’ll agree and my answer will be YES Lord Yes!”
9. Think of one of the events in Jesus’ life and ask God to expand your understanding of how it affects your life and what you need to learn from it.
10. Gaze on the candle flame, crucifix or another image. What comes to mind?
11. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you select a passage from one of the devotional books and ponder how it applies to your life.
12. God echoes. Notice: What messages are you receiving over and over? What patterns are emerging in your life?
13. If there is a life-giving word or phrase on your heart – repeat it several times or write it out over and over on a blank piece of paper or draw it and color it in.
14. Put on some music and dance with God.
15. Coincidences are God’s way of becoming known. Have you experienced any recently?
16. Spiritual Remembering. When you have experienced God’s presence in your life? What about stories people have shared with you about their experiences? Reflecting on these is called Spiritual Remembering. Make a list or create a collage of these experiences.
In concluding your time with God:
1. Summarize your time by writing a word, Bible passage or phrase OR drawing a sketch.
2. Thank God.
3. Say goodbye to God the way you would to a loved one – perhaps with a big hug.
Some might wonder how we know it is God’s Spirit and not our mind…
- Is it life-giving and loving?
- Is it consistent with Jesus’ message?
- Does it echo messages you are receiving elsewhere in your life?
- Ask for a confirmation – and then open to the Bible or a devotional to see if the message is there, as well.
- Ask for a sign or for God to make it clear.