“Don’t believe everything you think” is one of my favorite brain-based quotes. Your thoughts can damage a relationship or reunite a family. Your thoughts can ruin a meal or make a single strawberry the most delicious snack you’ve had all month. Your thoughts can even sabotage your health — or increase the chances you’ll heal from what ails you.
how to pray
“A mother, when her baby is crying, picks her up and holds her tenderly in her arms,” says Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. “Your suffering is your baby. Your pain and anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of her. You have to go back to yourself, to recognize the suffering in you. You have to be kind and gentle to yourself.”
How do you experience God’s presence or hear His voice in Scripture? What is lectio divina, and how do you practice this type of prayer in a group or by yourself? These five steps of lectio divina are clear and simple. They’ll help you hear the Holy Spirit, meet God in Scripture, and discern the presence of Jesus Christ in your life.
My newest, most favorite way to pray is to hold a situation or person lightly in my hands. I gently cup it and sit beside Jesus. Shoulder to shoulder. I lean against Him, feeling His solid warmth and powerful presence. I don’t ask for a specific outcome or pray for anything in particular.
Simply noticing your thoughts and returning to God is the thing that makes the difference. That’s what changes your brain: the act of noticing of your thoughts and turning back to God. It’s not about “succeeding” or “doing it right.” And that’s why meditation and contemplative prayer is a practice. You are literally practicing God’s presence, peace and joy…and He then naturally spills over into your daily life. He changes who you are and how you carry your burdens.
But wait, it gets better! This preacher — who is fighting joyfully, deeply, faithfully fighting cancer — shared five ways God answers prayer. Luis Palau was talking to Canadian pastor and bestselling author Carey Nieuwhof on this episode of Carey’s leadership podcast: Luis Palau on His Friendship With Billy Graham, How Evangelism Has Changed, and How to Be More Alive At Age 84 Than Most 24 Year Olds.