Sermon Series “Your Home Spiritual Workout”

Six week Lenten series to help you take some steps forward in taking personal responsibility for your own spiritual life.

Video MessageResources
Week 1:
Train, Don’t Just Try
Monday Memo notes

A Prayer for the Week
Adapted from Holy Disciples Parish Church (Puyallup WA):
“Good and gracious God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, invites all people to follow him and become his disciples. Touch our hearts, enlighten our minds, and stir our spirit so that we become His motivated students. Help us daily to take steps to lose the life we have in order to gain the life He wants to give us. Father, may our faith in Your Son increase, so that we trust Him more and more to reshape us from the inside out. May we slow down long enough to be filled with Your love. And may our hunger for Your good news intensify, this we pray, amen.”
Week 2:
Chewing on Scripture
Monday Memo notes

Try It Out This Week
So this week, give it a shot, even if you’ve never tried scriptural meditation or lectio divina before. With just a little intentionality, both can be done in a short amount of time. 
Maybe try one day or set of days for meditation, and one session on lectio divina? 
Given that lectio divina may be entirely new to some, here’s another resource that explain it further, hopefully putting you a little more at ease with it; this resource  breaks it into six, not four, steps, but it’s basically the same: Lectio Divina: Engaging the Scriptures for Spiritual Transformation
Quote to Remember
“The Word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love…Ponder this word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Week 3:
Missing Ingredients in Your Prayer Recipe
Monday Memo notes

Try It Out This Week
So try fixed hour prayer this week…
– Figure out three cues/triggers that you can use, one in the morning, one around midday, and one in the evening, to remind you to pause and pray. 
– Remember that these pauses don’t need to be long in order to be meaningful. 
– Perhaps make at least one of these daily prayers a “prayer of dependence” (this works well in the morning). 
This is one of the fixed hour prayer resources that I (Pastor Chris) use; it’s often my midday prayer, in fact. This is a free website, offering daily prayers from a prayer book compiled by Christian activist Shane Claibone – Common Prayer
If you like the Claiborne daily prayer website, you can get the physical book in its entirety, if you like – Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (10/29/10): Claiborne, Shane, Wilson-Hartgrove, Jonathan, Okoro, Enuma
For the more tech-savvy, our denomination offers a daily prayer app that comes complete with some scripture reading too – Presbyterian Mission Agency Daily Prayer
Quote to Remember
Martin Luther, the great Reformer, about prayer:
“The less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
“Pray, and let God worry.”
Body Prayer Resource
We used body prayer during Communion yesterday, as we’ve done before in worship, an idea drawn directly from scripture. If you’re interested in using your body’s position and motion in your own prayer life, this article is a good intro – Powerful Displays of Prayer in the Bible
Week 4:
Remembering to Remember
Monday Memo notes

Try It Out This Week
So give it a try this week. Set the bar low: maybe try one “life review” session using The Examen or bullet journaling or both. Just review the previous 2-3 days. You can do this in your regular prayer time (I, Pastor Chris, often do my “life reviews” as the evening prayer in my fixed hour prayer routine). 
If you start with one “life review” a week and you find it meaningful spiritually, you can always increase how often you do it, upping it to 2x/-3x/week. 
1. Here are two fuller versions of The Examen life review prayer, from a leading Protestant university in Texas – Examen
2. Here a short video on how to incorporate The Examen into your family’s life, as a shared family spiritual practice – Examen for Families
3. A short article that is a spiritual testimonial to the power of The Examen as life review, from someone who now does a simplified version of it several times a day – The Daily Examen
Week 5:
Habits of Disengagement
Monday Memo notes

Try It This Week
Try your hand at silence and solitude this week, in small or larger doses. Pay attention to what the experience is like: what’s it like, what’s your struggle in doing it, what happened that you didn’t expect, etc. 
Resources on Sabbath and Fasting 
Two more “habits of disengagement”: Sabbath and fasting. 
If you’d like to learn more about Sabbath, try these – 
Sabbath: A Spiritual Discipline
If you’d like to learn more about fasting, try these – 
The Purpose of Fasting – Richard J. Foster
The Most Neglected Spiritual Discipline
Week 6:
The “I” Solution
Monday Memo notes

Developing a Spiritual “Rule of Life”
So where do you go from here? Take what we’ve covered in the series, marry it with what’s already working in your spiritual life, and create for yourself what church history would label “a rule of life.”   To help you with that, consider the following: 
1) Ruth Haley Barton on how to develop a “rule of life” – “Questions for developing a rule of life:
– What am I beginning to understand about my minimum daily, weekly, and monthly requirements for ongoing spiritual formation? What disciplines do I know I need to engage in regularly as a way of offering myself to God steadily and consistently?
– Where will I do them, when will I do them, and how will I do them?
– What schedule change will I need to make in order to consistently choose these life-giving disciplines?
– What arrangements do I need to make with those I live with in order to make this possible?”
2) Some tangible insight on how to form good habits, from James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” –
– The 1% Rule, and the Impact Curve: Mini habits lead to growth. Just try to get 1% better every day. Take stupidly small steps, too small to skip or fail. Remember the two minute rule: a new habit should take less than two min. to do initially. Rest assured, you’ll be disappointed at the results initially, and many stop at this juncture and miss out on the longer term rewards. But stick with it, and you’ll cross a threshold eventually where the curve will bend upward and rapidly.
The Goldilocks Rule: Human beings experience peak motivation when working on something that is right on the edge of their current abilities. Boredom demotivates as strongly as failure.
– Stacking: Stack new habits on top of existing habits (something you’re already doing routinely). So, for example, “When I do existing habits A, I will also do new habit B,” or, “Right after I do existing habit A, I will do new habit B.”