Daily Bread July 05

Discerning Rest
By Victoria Mason of Lincroft, NJ, USA

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. -2 Thessalonian 3:16

I had just experienced four full days of worship, spiritual practices, classes, and fellowship with other members of my Community of Christ family from the United States and Canada. We were learning how to listen better to each other and to God. I was full and ready to go home.

When I entered the airport in Ontario, California, an airline agent told me there was a delay in my flight. She could not tell me when the plane would be departing to my connecting city but directed me to the gate to wait. Six hours later I was still waiting. When the agent told me there was a chance I could get on a plane leaving at midnight, I felt myself begin to panic.

I am not a great traveler in the best of circumstances. I called a dear friend who offered her home for the night and a ride to another airport early the next morning. That was very inviting, but she lived several hours away, depending on Los Angeles traffic. I needed to make a decision fast before I lost the chance to grab the remaining seat on the late flight out.

Finding myself shaky, tired, and more than a little frustrated, I knew my decision-making capacity was not at its best. I asked the gate agent if I could step aside for a moment to think. I sat on the floor and took deep breaths. “God, what should I do? Should I go with my friend or take the late flight?”

As I listened for the gentle guidance of Spirit, I sensed the invitation to consider getting a hotel room close to the airport and flying out in the morning. I felt my whole body respond with a deep sigh. Yes. This was right for me. I needed rest and quiet. I was blessed with a good dinner, a wonderful night’s sleep, and upgraded plane seats the next day. Thank you, God.

Prayer Phrase

“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)

Spiritual Practice

The Prayer of the Heart

Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace

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