July 2020

A Contemplative Exercise for July 2020

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 give you words and wisdom.”   Luke 21: 15 (NIV)

To begin the exercise, first spend a short while in relaxation and preparing to be still; you might enlist your body to help with this by adopting a receptive pose and systematically relaxing your way through your muscles or you may find it helpful to become aware of the sounds around you and then put them aside. Offer 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 give you words and wisdom.”    

As we come before our Lord and take this saying into our minds it may be helpful to eavesdrop on the conversation nearer the beginning of the chapter where the disciples are remarking on the beauty of the temple, its lovely adornments and how excellently it was built (see verses 5-14). Perhaps, in times such as these, it is also true that things that we had assumed were firm, steady, trustworthy, and also excellently and beautifully built have proved themselves much less permanent and secure? Indeed, Jesus foretells that what the disciples are admiring will be utterly destroyed to a heap of rubble. He is clear that there will be hard times ahead; there will be troubles and persecution.

How comforting it is then that we can rest on a reliable and faithful God. Whilst there may well be upheavals of every kind and international distress, such as we are facing at the moment, nevertheless we can hold on to the promise of Jesus’ presence. He reassures us that he does not leave us undefended. We are to simply speak with the words of wisdom that he will give us in the moment, as in our saying:

“I will give you words and wisdom.”

Might it be that Jesus is asking his followers to yield to the plan of a loving and gracious Father who always accomplishes every purpose and plan in his heart (Eph 1: 11)? Maybe it is resting on this bedrock that prompts him to say to the disciples in verse 9 of this 21st chapter of Luke, “Don’t panic or give in to your fears”. This may be the time to recognise that we can only find true wisdom when we are in relationship with God and, within the intimacy of that loving and secure relationship, when we have a profound reverence of our Lord?   

As we prepare to take our saying into our minds, reflect on it and then allow it to be spoken to us, we might consider in what circumstances we will need this reassurance from God. It is a reassurance to his faithful witnesses that He will always give the words and the wisdom that are needed, when they are needed. How will this apply to us on our own frontline? Might it be in conversations with colleagues or clients? Will we need appropriate words and wisdom so we can bring His peace and wholeness to our families, to our friends and to our neighbours? What interactions, whether in person, on the phone, by email or virtual conferencing are we likely to encounter this week or this month? Might there be an opportunity to bring consoling words and introduce Jesus’ wisdom into the situation?

We take the word into our minds:

“I will give you words and wisdom.” 

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 give you words and wisdom.


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

I will give you words and wisdom.

As we take this word into our hearts, let it speak in us, let it touch our emotions and let it work more deeply upon our lives perhaps we might delve into the aspect of wisdom?

Biblical wisdom is both religious and intensely practical. As we may well be aware, such wisdom rests on and is born in the fear or deep reverence of God (Ps 110:10) and we gain the essence of wisdom when we live in obedient devotion to God (Pr 1:7). Wisdom of the world tends to reply on intuition and experience. Godly wisdom has the extra facet of divine revelation. This additional dimension perhaps means it is so much less limited.

In our saying we have Jesus’ legacy to us of the wisdom to say the right thing in times of persecution, in times of examination and in hard times.

Surely we need this wisdom if we are to walk worthily of God?

Jesus himself grew in wisdom as a boy (Lk 2: 40, 52).  Might we also desire to be filled with wisdom and to grow in the ways of wisdom? How are we doing in our obedient devotion to God? Have we taken the opportunity to be still and listen so that there is the time and space for us to be receptive to God’s revelation?

How encouraging it is that in James’ letter (1:5) those who long to be wise are reminded to ask God for wisdom and are reassured that God will give it. Our lack of wisdom won’t be scolded, but our failures will be overwhelmed with God’s generous grace. This surely reflects Jesus’ promise here in our saying that He is at hand to give words and wisdom.

We might also gaze at Jesus, noting that Jesus is the embodiment of wisdom. He gazes back at us with loving kindness and is ready to help us walk the way of wisdom and equip us to make wise choices in the whole of our life. As we allow this word to speak in us and touch us at our deepest needs, is this something that we long for? 

We rest in God and take the promise in to our hearts:

 I will give you words and wisdom.” 

A 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 give you words and wisdom.” 


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

I will give you words and wisdom.” 

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 intercessions. We do not need to pray ‘for’ people or identify what we perceive to be their needs – we hold them before God and, through us, the Word is spoken to them….

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

‘You who are anxious and afraid…’       I will give you words and wisdom.” 

 We might include in our intercessions:

·        Our church leaders, locally, nationally and internationally. Words of wisdom seem so very necessary.

·        Our leaders and their advisors, again locally, nationally and internationally where words of wisdom might bring a better understanding of the issues and encourage greater co-operation.

·        Business leaders - who have the welfare of their staff as a concern, and need wisdom in making difficult decisions.

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., until you are all in all and we are complete.   Amen


 You may wish to say the Grace together before departing.  

                                                                    This month's exercise was contributed by DK