Day 2: Release Your Inner Power
Day 2 Focus: Release Your Inner Power (Consider setting a timer, to make it easier.)
Level 1: (5 minutes) Breathe deeply and inhale God’s love. Sit quietly dwelling on the breath, length, height and depth of God’s love. Throughout the day, pause and thank God for your lungs.
Level 2: (10 minutes) Do Level 1, then after Reading the daily scripture take 5 minutes to discern what word or phrase catches your interest: “Adapted from Ephesians 3:14-21. For this reason I bow on my knees before You Father, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth derives its name, that You will grant to me according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with power through Your Spirit in my inner self; so that Your Son Christ may dwell in my heart through faith, and being rooted and grounded in love, I may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Your love, which surpasses mere knowledge, that I may be filled up with all Your fullness. Now by You who are able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I ask or imagine, according to the power that works within me, to You be the glory in the church and in Your Son Jesus Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Level 3: (15 minutes) After pausing to breathe and reading the Scripture prayer, take 5 minutes to Write down what you discern that God is calling you to do. Personally, I cannot stop thinking about the horror of the shooting in a school in Florida yesterday. I think, what does it mean to “Pray. Act. Pray Again.”? My focus is landing on the word “Act.” While I know the power of prayer helps us more than we can imagine—it is also how we “act” after we pray that shines God’s Light into the world. I know we need to “act” to protect the innocent. These are the words that touched my heart after reading this Scripture: “You (God) who are able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I ask or imagine, according to the power that works within me.” I know God is working within me, and I want to discern how God will empower me to help others.
Level 4: (30-60 minutes) At level 4 we seek to become a Beloved Community. We take seriously our responsibility to discern how God wants us to act. The summary in N. Graham Standish’s Book Becoming a Blessed Church on pages 232-233 describes Four Principles of Discernment for groups seeking God’s will:
We need to be grounded in Scripture. This requires us to engage in the reading of Scripture, participating in Bible Studies, regular devotional reading and listening to sermons. Many churches now have online services—which I find really helpful in rural NH. Whatever your faith tradition, it is a good idea to find a weekly service of worship or devotional practice (where you go physically or you observe online.) Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Support Group meetings—be creative.
We need to listen for God’s voice. God will give us messages in many ways—through special events, poetry, bumper stickers—the list is long. However, not all messages are from God. Standish advises being “discriminating and somewhat skeptical. The true voice of God will resonate with you.” This is where a Beloved Community can be helpful. Trusted holy friends are priceless.
We need to clarify what we hear. This is crucial, and we need to be careful. False preachers, teachers, and prophets are “deceived by their own pride.” If God is talking to you, God is also talking to others, too. God will not pit us against each other. Standish asserts that if something is coming from God, “it will be affirmed by others who are seeking to determine God’s will.” This is what has inspired me to create Level 4 so that we can come together as a Beloved Community seeking God’s will.
We need to follow God in faith. This is the most difficult and yet most important step in forming a Beloved Community. All the human peccadilloes—doubts, reluctance, and/or trepidations will haunt us. But if it is God calling us to do something, “the impossible will become possible.” God will find a way if God wants something to happen. So I thank you for joining this online Beloved Community as we seek to follow God’s call to action.
 I am an Ordained United Methodist Pastor, however, I feel God speaks to everyone, and so I work diligently to include everyone. While I understand God through an Orthodox and Trinitarian Christian Tradition, I respect that God’s image is implanted in everyone.