Those of you who are fans of our Facebook page know that I’m spending the week with my family at SoulFeast 2010, a spiritual retreat sponsored by the Upper Room and held in the mountains of Lake Junaluska, NC.
This week is amazing for two reasons. First, being here, I realize how hungry I’ve been for spiritual retreat. For the chance to worship and sing and pray and learn (not that you can’t do that in church, but here you get to do it everyday, sometimes twice a day, while sitting alongside a lake in the mountains!). For the chance to be on the mountaintop with God, experiencing him in ways that are acute. For the chance to learn more about God and my/our relationship to him. It turns out, spiritual retreat is good for the soul.
And as I reported on Facebook yesterday, I’ve gotten to do a lot of work on prayer this week! I’ve been participating in a 3-day workshop on prayer, and also did a 1-day workshop on children and prayer. Those topics were probably obvious choices for me, given my interest in prayer and prayer tools. Lucky for you (um, hello?!?) there’s much that I want to share with you, which I’ll do over time in this blog.
But there’s something equally amazing about this week: this is the anniversary of the call I received to make prayer beads. It was a year ago today, here in the mountains of North Carolina, that I was walking out of a cheesy, worn down seafood restaurant, past the wood paneling and the video games and the tree trunk that was carved into the shape of a grinning shark, when out of nowhere I heard a voice say, “you need to make rosaries.” And the rest, as they say, is history (you can read more about this story here).
I could never have imagined the response! Of the over 160 sets of prayer beads that I’ve made so far, I’ve sold about 130 of them and set up 3 corporate accounts in Christian stores. It seems that people are really hungry for tools and ways to connect with God. I’ve also gotten to explore my own prayer life (which was sadly lacking) and talk with others about theirs. Hearing that voice was a startling spiritual experience, and one that I still don’t quite understand, but it has been such an incredible gift, one that is continuing to unfold.
So in honor of the first anniversary of “the voice” and the event that led to the creation of Prayerw0rks Studio, we will be offering 20% off all of our prayer beads over the next week. I’ll send more details of the sale by this weekend, once I’ve gotten home and can get it all ready.
And it wouldn’t be appropriate to honor this event without a prayer bead devotion. This one focuses on The Great Commandment, when someone asked Jesus what must be done to inherit eternal life. Reminding ourselves of this seems the perfect way to celebrate the many ways in which God calls us to relationship with him. Even if it is through a voice in a bar.
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Invitatory Bead: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27, NIV)
1st Cruciform Bead: Lord, I love you with all my heart.
1st set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you use your heart to love God. (It may be helpful to think of ways in which you use your love, generosity, compassion, etc. to show love for God.)
2nd Cruciform Bead: Lord, I love you with all my soul.
2nd set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you use your soul to love God. (It may be helpful to consider the ways in which you, as a spiritual being, show love to God through prayer, praise, witness, creativity, talents, etc.)
3rd Cruciform Bead: Lord, I love you with all my strength.
3rd set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you use your strength to love God. (It may be helpful to think of the ways in which you use your health, your body, and the ways you care for your body to be in service to God.)
4th Cruciform Bead: Lord, I love you with all my mind.
4th set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you use your mind to love God. (It may be helpful to think of the ways in which you use your intelligence, ideas, thoughts, etc. to love God and be in service to Him.)
Invitatory Bead: recite The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.