Stassi Cramm, Presiding Bishop
Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. -Romans 12:17-18
Over the years I have developed spiritual practices that work well for me. When my mind is cluttered and I can’t make space for listening to God, I often turn to music. I have learned there are certain songs I can play over and over that eventually drop into the background like white noise, giving me space to focus on listening to God.
Recently I added a new song to my “go-to” list. I had the privilege of singing “Revelation Song” with the choir at the Canada West Mission Center Conference. Later, I downloaded an instrumental version to my computer.
One day, feeling very unprepared, I boarded a three-hour flight heading to a ministry trip. I greeted my seatmates then put in my earbuds and turned on “Revelation Song” in repeat mode. At first I was listening to the song and singing along in my head. (At least I hope I wasn’t serenading my seatmates!)
Somewhere around the third repeat, I drifted away into a conversation with God. Then midflight, as the song kept playing, I started making notes on my computer from this conversation. Three hours later when I landed, I was in a new space. My spiritual cup was full.
I’m guessing the strictest adherents to the Jesus Prayer would not interpret my repetitive playing of “Revelation Song” as equivalent to praying a repetitive phrase such as “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” However, for me the result was the same. In the sacred space of my airplane seat, I communed with God, and God blessed me.
Lent is a time for you to discover new ways to connect with God. How might you adapt the practice of the Jesus Prayer to fill your spiritual cup?
I surrender into your love.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. (If that feels like too much at first, choose a time that will be comfortable for you as a starting place, committing to expand that time in future prayer.) Allow the rhythm of your breath to draw you deeper and deeper into silence. As you breathe, claim one sacred word (Christ, peace, grace, trust, etc.) emerging in you as an anchor to return you to the intention of your prayer when your thoughts begin to wander. Gently release the thoughts and images that come, making space for presence to the One who is with you here and now. Release, return, “be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10b).
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.