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So – we have a somewhat unexpected free evening. Normal patterns are disrupted, we are encouraged to gather at home.

As much as I dislike winter and snow and cold… it’s kind of fun…

Perfect opportunity for prayer. A chance to reflect and give thanks. For shelter, for family. I was planning to use this in the Lenten prayer class I was to lead tonight at West Heights UMC, but will instead offer it here.

Find a relaxed spot, yet not too comfortable – sit, perhaps, in a chair as if you were going to get to hear something you really wanted to pay attention to.

Breath deeply and let it out. Repeat a couple of times.

Selah

Selah is a Hebrew word for which we don’t have a precise meaning. It’s a bit of a mystery. It shows up 74 times in the Hebrew Scriptures – 71 of those in the Psalms as some sort of notation.  Psalm 46 is one example.  Selah may have been a musical notation, but the consensus is that it was a call to pause and listen.

We read it recently in worship – God is our very present help…

You might read that psalm and reflect. But I invite you to focus on the tenth verse:

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I Am God.

Selah

Most of us have trouble with this kind of stillness. Here’s a method I learned that I’ve found helpful. Focus on that 10th verse, and over several minutes, repeat it in the pattern outlined below.

Let each “Selah” guide you into at least 60 seconds, preferably 2-3 or more minutes as you are able.  As thoughts come, don’t fight them, but note them and “park” them.

Say – aloud or just in your thoughts: Be still and know that I Am God

Selah

Be still and know that I Am

Selah

Be still and know that

Selah

Be still and know

Selah

Be still

Selah

Be.

Selah

Be.

Selah

Be still

Selah

Be still and know

Selah

Be still and know that…

Selah

Be still and know that I Am 

Selah

Be still and know that I Am God

at this point I usually close with the Lord’s prayer, Wesley’s covenant prayer or just a general thanksgiving. I might specifically name and pray for the thoughts I parked. In a few cases, I find that I have some real clarity on something – often unexpected – and so I’ll move into making notes or doing some work on that thing.

Blessings on your journey.

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