Bringing all of my shortcomings and worries, stresses and relationships to Him. Letting Him carry them for me. Letting Him into my day-to-day mundane routines, into my hopes and dreams. Letting Him guide my purpose in life. What if I could somehow find this peace, joy and relationship with God, without having to go off to live in the mountains somewhere? Our goal is to discover how to find this relationship through our faith, how to share in the peace and joy God brings into the real world, every day. And we started testing and trying the different things we were learning in our own prayer lives.
And what we found was more than we ever could have expected. We found a world deep with history, experience, and teaching going back thousands of years. A world where seminarians and religious brothers and sisters spend an entire year learning different methods of prayer that I, a supposed Catholic my entire life, had never even heard of. A world that offered an entire new collection of interesting and deeply spiritual ways to pray. This is the idea behind Hallow: provide a simple, intuitive mobile app that helps us foster a relationship with God and the peace of prayer through simple guided sessions.
Hallow is a simple way to create a daily, personal retreat each morning for you in your home. We are discovering that it is possible to build this kind of relationship with God in our day-to-day, and that this simple app is able to act as a means for the Holy Spirit to work through. Starting my prayer meditation this way is almost rebuilding the way I think about God. It was so beautiful…I am excited for the next few days to come. He is in the silence. What can I do now?
Well, the first thing I would say is to feel free email me at alex hallow. I would love to talk with you about where you are in your faith journey and about how we at Hallow can help.
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One huge lesson we have learned in our research is that there are many different types of prayer. There are the traditional spoken prayers. There are group prayers and the Liturgy of the Hours. Among all of these, we have found that the three simplest to get started with in personal prayer are Christian Meditation, the Examen, and Lectio Divina. This type of prayer is simple.
With all the busyness, distraction and noise in our lives today it feels like there is no way just to sit and be still. Christian meditation is one way we can. Essentially, we find a quiet place to sit and try to focus our mind on something simple. The best part of Christian meditation is that we are not the ones doing the work. The goal is to put ourselves in a position to let God takeover, to set our minds on Him and let him lead us. So, but how do you actually do it?
First, try to find a consistent time each morning, before your mind starts focusing on the concerns of the day. Then find a place to pray. It can be anywhere: a floor, a chair, a couch, a bench. It just needs to be a place of calm and quiet where you can consistently return. You can have your legs straight or crossed, your hands clasped together or palms up. Start with some deep breaths: in through the nose and out through the mouth. Gently close your eyes. Next, we do a simple set of exercises to understand our surroundings.
If you feel yourself become distracted, simply acknowledge that it has happened, and gradually turn your attention back to your breath. Sometimes it can help to count your breaths. Count up to 10 and then start over again at 1. After about 5 to 10 minutes of this stillness gently turn your mind to God. Alone and assembled. The New Testament is full of corporate prayer gatherings.
In fact, most prayer in the New Testament is probably thought of in terms of gatherings for prayer. How are you doing in this? This is not advanced Christianity.
This is basic Christianity. This week we have twelve thirty-minute prayer meetings planned plus the eight hours of prayer all night on Friday. The options are meant to help you make a new breakthrough. During the rest of the year there are thirty-minute prayer meetings six mornings each week, Wednesday evening at downtown. Then there are the small groups that meet for prayer and ministry. Then there is Sunday morning that includes prayer in song and other ways. If assembling for prayer is not part of your devotion to prayer, make a breakthrough year.
Both-and: free and formed, alone and assembled. Being devoted to prayer will mean that you come to God in prayer often desperate and often delighted. I simply mean that prayer is a place for meeting God with your deepest heartaches and fears and prayer is a place for meeting God with your highest joys and thanks. The pillow you use for your elbows when you kneel daily before the Father, will be a tear-stained pillow. And often that joy will overwhelm the burdens of this fallen world — as it should — and make you want to leap for joy.
The Father wants to meet you at those times too. Be devoted to prayer in desperation and in delight — in fasting and feasting. All I mean here is short and long. I would have said short and long, but then the letters would not match and the acronym would not spell anything. Besides explosive is more vivid and is exactly what prayers can be from time to time.
If you are devoted to prayer you will explode regularly with prayers of praise and thanks and need and they will not last more than a few seconds. And if you are devoted to prayer you will have times when you linger for a long time in prayer to the Lord. If you love Christ and lean on him for all things and treasure him above all else, you with meet him often with explosive prayers and often with extended prayers. By spontaneous and scheduled I mean when we pray. If we are devoted to prayer we will pray spontaneously through the day — without ceasing as Paul says — a constant spirit of communion with Christ, walking by the Spirit and knowing him as a continual personal presence in your life.
No plan will govern when you speak to him. It will happen dozens of time in the day. This is normal and good. This is being devoted to prayer. The true rich fruit of spontaneity grows in the garden that is well tended by the discipline of schedule.
Be Devoted to Prayer
So I plead with you, have your set times of prayer. Plan it for When will you meet him regularly? How long will you set aside?