You may be unfamiliar with the practice of Centering Prayer. It is very similar to meditation, but it instead brings our relationship with God into the center of our inner stillness.
As a recovering addict, I have found centering prayer quite helpful especially in time of stress, when dealing with triggers and so forth. It is a valuable practice for any one interested in pursuing a more contemplative lifestyle.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch this excellent introduction to the contemplative practice of Centering Prayer. Father Keating is wonderful to watch and listen to. I hope you will be as blessed by his teaching as I have.
Father Thomas Keating, the founder of the Centering Prayer movement, is an author, teacher and monk who has worked for many years to foster understanding among the world’s religion. A member of the Cistercian Order in the Benedictine tradition, Father Keating lives at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.
In THE ROAD TO RECOVERY column along with working the traditional 12 Steps of Recovery we are working the Eight Principles of Celebrate Recovery that are based on The Beatitudes of Jesus. Our steps align with the monthly calendar.
STEP 7: We humbly asked God to remove all our shortcomings.
“If we confess or sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
PRINCIPLE FIVE (Celebrate Recovery): Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” ~ Matthew 5:6
This leg of our recovery journey continues to be challenging. In Step Four we examined ourself through our moral and spiritual inventory. Step Five required the discipline of confession to a trusted friend or mentor. With Step Six came a time of repentance followed now by Step Seven and the purification of our character.
Having become willing to yield our defects to God we now must bow humbly before our creator in the hopes that He will see fit to remove them. It’s important not to confuse humility with the humiliation that we may be very familiar with as recovering addicts. God doesn’t want to shame us, He only wants us to submit ourselves to His way for our life.
Three reasons we need humility:
- We need humility to recognize the severity of our character defects. Without it we may minimize the pain they cause to ourselves and others.
- We need humility to acknowledge the limits of our humanity. We can’t remove these character defects with our intellect or willpower.
- We need humility to appreciate that it’s only God’s mighty power that can transform our life.
Our goal at the end of this step is to find peace with ourselves.
When we go to God we must bring our inventory list and be specific in our prayer. It can be painful and difficult going through this list of wrongs again. Our stinking thinking may tell us we’re not worthy of the growth and progress we’re making. But if we come with the right attitude God will honor our efforts.
Father God, thank you for helping me become willing to be molded into who you want me to be. I pray that you would remove every defect of character that stands in the way of my being useful to your work. Give me the strength I need to go on from here. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen
If you can’t see the video screen below CLICK HERE for our Road to Recovery theme song.
Celebrate Recovery Bible
Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide
Life Recovery Bible
Life Recovery Devotional
The Twelve Steps for Christians
Prayers for the Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey
Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery
Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice
There are times in life when you know God is calling you to start or stop something. You ignore it. Time goes by but you’re still constantly reminded of your disobedience.
When the Holy Spirit convicts our heart to make a change in some area we must not procrastinate! Waiting to make the needed change only gets harder the longer we wait.
God sees the bigger picture and knows the best time for us to do things. The problem is we think the way things are today is how they will be tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year. But God knows what is coming around the corner and whether the situations will be more conducive to make the needed changes.
A few years ago, God called me to stop a bad habit. He spoke in my spirit that it wasn’t going to get any easier if I waited. I was faithful to the required abstinence for about 3 months and then I allowed the habit to creep back in. Over the next two years the habit was in full force and I couldn’t make it through most days without giving in to its hold on my life.
In March of 2016 God showed up again with a not so gentle command to give it up for good and if I didn’t my health was going to be effected in a negative way. Sadly, this season of life is much more stressful than years ago when God first wanted me to quit my bad habit. I’m paying a stiff penalty of ‘should have’ for my disobedience.
Why the stiff penalty? Doesn’t God love us? Once we made the decision to let God into our lives His recreating force went to work. It’s precisely because God loves us and wants us to be pure that we can’t escape the regular examinations of our life by the Holy Spirit. Life won’t get any easier if we continue to put things off that we’re being convicted to do.
Let’s do now what we know we will have to do some day.
Image Credit: paktaotik2 / 123RF Stock Photo
RHW New Website Is Live!
Thanks for all the ongoing prayers and patience as I’ve been working on getting the new website and professional blogging software ready to go live!
The RHW look is new, and will continue to evolve, but the mission remains constant:
“To share Christ’s love, hope and healing with women everywhere.”
I’m looking forward to exploring and sharing more of the exciting new directions God is taking RHW over the year ahead. I hope to launch podcasts, speaking engagements, women’s retreats, release my book(s) and much more.
As you get to know the new RHW site, please let me know what you think! I hope you will take a quick minute to sign up for the free weekly newsletter so you’ll never miss a blog post and can get the latest RHW updates. Also, be sure to like the new Facebook page and follow on Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned!
In His service,