Quiet Time Coaching, Episode 108
On Tuesday I took a morning to pray and talk things over with God. It was one of my monthly ‘sabbath’ days. I went walking and praying in Denham Country Park. I picked the location for two reasons.
The first was that it was a delightful spot with open countryside, rivers, a canal and wooded areas. The second was because it is close to the location for the group spiritual retreat I’m planning for March 2020. I wanted to go to the area, pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance in the preparation and planning of the retreat amongst other things.
I certainly felt God answered my prayers. More on the retreat later, but something else also happened that morning.
As many of you will know I am preparing a teaching and preaching series on the sermon on the Mount for the Thames Valley churches of Christ, as well as a teaching day on the same topic for the Watford Church of Christ.
As I wrestle with the study of and application of the sermon on the Mount, one aspect which intrigues me is how to fully inhabit these beatitudes.
I prayed about that challenge on Tuesday morning, and in doing so recognised that this is as much to do with being conscious of the presence of God as it is to do with the specific Beatitudes. I decided to attempt an experiment with technology to help me in my awareness of God being with me throughout the day.
I set an alarm on my phone to go off every 12 minutes. Why 12? 12 apostles. 12 tribes. Enough said.
Every 12 minutes the alarm went off, and I quoted to myself this verse from the King James version of Psalm 118:
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”(Psalm 118:24 KJV)
It’s a verse I’ve known since childhood. I probably learned it in Sunday school whilst singing the old chorus “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it…”
I continued this experiment all day until about 9 PM. Sometimes I said the words out loud. Sometimes I sang the song to myself and to God. At other times I said to myself in my head and my heart. Never did it failed to bring a smile to my lips. I will not be doing this every day. But it certainly refreshed me on Tuesday.
There are more details on my experience in the podcast, so have a listen to that if you’d like to hear more about how this simple use of technology helped me to be more aware of the presence of God.
Do you use technology to help you with your prayer life? I would like to know what you do.
Now onto the latest progress with the retreat. In case you haven’t heard before, it’s booked for the final weekend in March 2020, 27th-29th March. I won’t go over all the details now because they are contained in last week’s quiet time coaching episode (107).
What I will say for today is that I’ve decided not put up a registration page. I realised that to go to all that effort for the booking of up to a maximum of 17 people didn’t seem proportionate! Instead, I will register you once you have told me you want to come and I have received a cheque or bank transfer for the cost of attending.
I will put up a blog post on my website with all the details of the retreat as a specific place for people to go back to and check from time to time as things develop. That should go live next week.
In the meantime, if you would like to pre—register, please drop me a line via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone: (07973) 491021. I will pencil book names given to me and confirm them when payment has arrived.
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God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John