Help us to be faithful and diligent in practicing the disciplines of our faith, so that through these practices we may be conformed to your life, and love. Amen.
Recently, my alma mater and former wrestling team, Augsburg College, won the NCAA Division III wrestling tournament for a record 12th time.
This picture is of an Augsburg practice. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but when I was at Augsburg, coach Jeff Swenson would consistently remind us that, "we don't practice for the sake of practicing." We practiced, to improve and get better, and the amount we tried to improve by each day was small, only 1%
I still remember those practices, I remember the consistent repetitions and drills over small movements, so that our bodies would re-learn how to move and respond naturally and correctly on the mat. These drills were not fancy, but they turned us into better wrestlers by the way our bodies were conformed to be in good position.
Often, we think of our Spirit-filled lives, as being ones that connect with some great, otherworldly spirit, that will empower us with abilities, or just general happiness, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude. This is not the way of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to us in disciplined, spiritual practices, worship, prayer, fellowship, scripture engagement, meditation, etc. in order that we may find the presence of God the Father and Son in each place as well, and so that our lives may be ever more open to the grace that God so fully gives us.
In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes that,
“God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.”
We don't have to be great to get started in the spiritual life, we only have to take on the practice of engaging in it and let God do the rest with us.
About Lenten Prayer as CtK:
During Lent, I am inviting all of you at Christ the King, and anyone who would be willing to join us, to engage in praying together, seeking to hear God and be guided by Christ's life in our life together. To guide these prayers, I will be posting pictures centered around a word for the day. This comes from the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/LENTPHOTOADAY. Please feel free to join me in posting pictures and thoughts to your social media accounts or to the comments of this blog.