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November 2019


A Contemplative Exercise for November 2019

 

The following is a possible framework for the Witnessing of the Word. It can be personalised, or altered: its purpose is to serve as an example of how this Saying might be used primarily in the context of a Prayer Group, but it may be used by individuals if so wished. It is not intended to be definitive.

In the context of a group: the periods of silence should be appropriate for your group - probably not less than 5 minutes, or more than 15 minutes.

Saying for the month

 “I will display my glory among the nations.”   Ezekiel 39:21 (NIV)

 

To begin the exercise, first spend a short while in relaxation and preparing to be still; becoming aware of the sounds around you and putting them aside; and offering this time of prayer to God.

Say this introductory invitation to prayer, then keep a further minute or two of silence

"Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest"   Matthew 11.28 


 Introduction to the first silence - a preparation for listening with the mind:

“I will display my glory among the nations.”    

As we come before our Lord and take this saying into our minds it may be helpful to consider the context of what is described in these chapters of Ezekiel. Here we have vivid, apocalyptic language that is repeated in chapters 19 and 20 of the book of Revelation. You might think of them as images or visual aids that illustrate spiritual truths and spiritual realities that are relevant for all ages. There are lots of sevens – possibly symbolising completeness and wholeness, for example the seven years of complete and total destruction and devastation of those who oppose God’s people. God’s people will return to their land and this land will be cleansed and restored. Part of this involves burning the weapons and supplies that are left by the defeated army. The land is also cleansed of the exposed corpses as these defile the land, need to be removed and buried. God is promising to deliver His people; this great day of deliverance will be remembered and will perhaps be made into an annual day of celebration to the glory of God. There is hope then, in tough times, that God will destroy the invading army – He will step in to protect his people and He does so not only for protecting his people but also for the demonstration of His glory before the nations, which brings us to our saying: 

 “I will display my glory among the nations.”   

 This miracle of deliverance is a reminder to God’s people, newly returned to their land, that Yahweh alone is the Lord. It is He who says:

“I will display my glory among the nations.

 There is the promise of a new land and a new temple and the reassurance that God has not abandoned His people, He is in control and He will intervene. His is the ultimate victory, as we know in the resurrection of Jesus, glory awaits and God’s fury falls against those who are against Him and who oppress and afflict His people. We are assured of everlasting rest as God restores His people to himself, He is sovereign over all things:

“I will display my glory among the nations.

We take this saying into our minds, and rest in His presence …

 A time is now kept for silence of the mind - between 5 and 15 minutes

 

The silence concludes with a short thanksgiving, and/or repeat the Saying:

 Father, we thank you for the gift of your Word.

 “I will display my glory among the nations.

 

Introduction to the second silence - a preparation for listening with the heart:

I will display my glory among the nations.

As we prepare to take the saying into our hearts and respond personally to this saying we might remember that in Ezekiel’s message God’s people have been chastened because of their sin but even so God does not abandon them, He restores his people to Himself. He does not cease loving them (and us). This chastening may help to purify our faith, it may deepen our trust in our Lord and help us to grow in maturity and godliness.

 I wonder how open I am to allowing God to display His glory in me, and through my life?

Is there some cleansing that needs to go on in aspects of my life, just as the land needed to be cleansed of the weapons of warfare and of the dead bodies? Is there any ‘stuff’ lingering that defiles my life?

Have the victories of previous skirmishes and battles truly been embedded and claimed? What might the Holy Spirit be saying to me personally?

As I seek to live a Godly life in this ungodly world might I keep looking forward and keep looking up and hold on to this promise that God will display His glory?

Having taken the saying into our hearts and pondered upon some of these things, we rest in God’s glorious presence and receive the Word:

 I will display my glory among the nations.” 

  time is now kept for silence of the heart - between 5 and 15 minutes


Conclude the silence with a short thanksgiving and/or by repeating the Saying:

 Father, we thank you that your Word is alive and within us.

I will display my glory among the nations.” 

 

Introduction to the time of intercession – we use our will to reflect God’s word outwards.

I will display my glory among the nations.” 

With this word in mind we can now bring the meaning alive not only for ourselves, but also most importantly for the lives of others, in our intercession.

Say the name of a person or a group of people, and after a short pause, repeat the saying. For example:

‘You my people, seeking faith and greater understanding of my Word'         ……       I will display my glory among the nations.” 

 Perhaps as we apply our will and engage in the work of praying for others it may be appropriate to include in our prayer those Christians across the world who are being persecuted because they belong to Him and who may need this promise of deliverance and the hope of God’s glory, that He has all is in His hands and that this oppression will be brought to a final close.

We might also pray for others who are suffering in all sorts of ways and who need deliverance and the hope of dwelling in safety for all eternity, trusting in our Lord, and knowing that God will display his glory.

 We reflect the saying outwards as we pray:

“I will display my glory among the nations.”


Conclude the time of intercession with words of thanksgiving:

Father, we thank you that your Word has gone out through us to those for whom we pray.

Use the Fellowship Prayer or another closing prayer to conclude your time of contemplative prayer.

 Loving Heavenly Father, we thank you for all your unsearchable riches which pour forth from you as light from the sun, in boundless profusion and generosity, whether received, ignored or rejected. And now we offer to you, in so far as we are able, as an emptiness to be filled with your divine fullness, ourselves, our souls and bodies; all that we are, all that we have and all that we do. Amen

 You may wish to say the Grace together before departing.  

 

This month's exercise was contributed by DK