Cultivating our faith is an important part of wellness. In times of uncertainties, anxiety, and fear it is very relevant for us to
create different patterns and rhythms that nurture our life and our connection with the Sacred in our ordinary lives.
The pandemic has disrupted our daily life and even our interpersonal relationships. It has also disrupted our regular religious practices. It is definitely a new time and also an opportunity to explore some of the ancient Christian practices of prayer which strengthen and nourish our faith. As Lutherans we approach these practices not as a race where we earn points with God or for the purpose of attaining God’s favor. We know that God in Jesus Christ has done what we cannot do for ourselves or by our own efforts—God’s grace and love are real in us because of God’s initiative.
So, when we do these practices, we recognize that the “work” we are doing isn’t actually our work but God’s. Some of these practices are: Daily devotional Bible reading, Centering Prayer (fixed hour prayer, Jesus’ prayer, breathing prayer, etc.), Journaling, Lectio Divina, Meditation, praying with icons (art), praying with beads, Examen prayer, etc. The regular practice of the spiritual exercises is
how we cultivate our spiritual life. They are the means that the Spirit uses to come to us and for us to listen. Working on my spirituality through the spiritual disciplines has led me to understand that it really isn’t me working. I am responding to the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. I am doing the “work” that I am called to do by slowing down enough to connect to God. The work in the disciplines is all God’s.
Also, when we are nourished through prayer, we can be more present in love with ourselves and with others.