Monday, September 22, 2008

Suburban Spirituality

Our special guest, Marie Zupka Ludder, offered some reflections Sunday morning on how to stay focused on God in the midst of the business of life. Here is a snap-shot:

1. Heed the calls to prayer of daily life. When you hear the fire siren or the ambulance wail, take a moment to pray for those in danger and those responding. When you hear the train whistle, pray for those on their way to work or home.

2. Thank God for our food. We pray "Give us this day our daily bread" and need to respond with "Thank you Lord for this food," whether its a formal prayer during family dinner or a quick prayer in the drive through or as we munch a Snickers.

3. Set an extra place for Jesus. Remember when we are gathered at the table for meal time that Jesus is with us. Some families have found the practice of setting an extra place setting for Jesus to be a profound reminder of Christ's presence.

4. Journal. Keep a small note book during the day to write reflections of how God is working and worries and concerns to lift up in prayer.

5. Pray the news. As you scan the headlines, lift up the world and those in it in prayer.

6. Let waiting time be prayer time Instead of getting all anxious when we wait, turn it into a time of prayer. Marie advocates "guerilla prayer" - stealth prayers for those in your vicinity who are especially distressed - the mother in the shopping line, the fellow commuter on the train, the driver in the traffic jam about to explode in road rage.

7. Go out like the Wise Men, seeking Jesus. Put a star by the door you use most often to go in and out of your home to remind you of the Wise Men and their search for Jesus. Go about your day in the same spirit.

Marie is Associate for Congregational Resources at the Presbytery of Long Island.

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