Augustinian prayer brings the words of Scripture forward into the present. Augustinians ask, “What is this passage saying to me in my life?” They view Scripture as a personal letter from God and find great meaning in it.
Read Isaiah 43:1-5. Change the words “Jacob” and “Israel” to your own first name. Try to imagine the Lord speaking these words directly to you.
But now, thus says the LORD,
who created you, [your name], and formed you, [your name]
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are mine.
When you pass through waters, I will be with you;
through rivers, you shall not be swept away.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
nor will flames consume you.
For I, the LORD, am your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your savior.
I give Egypt as ransom for you,
Ethiopia and Seba* in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes
and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you
and nations in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
from the east I will bring back your offspring,
from the west I will gather you.
Questions to ponder/journal:
1. What meaning would they have for you in your present situation? Try to transpose the message from God to yourself today.
2. What is the Lord talking about when he tells you, “Fear not”? What fears do you have? Water and fire were the two great dangers which aroused the fears of ancient people; what are the greatest dangers you face in your life? What is the Lord telling you to do in time of danger?
3. Imagine Jesus saying to you now, “You are precious in my eyes, and I love you.” “Fear not, I am with you.” How do you see this to be true in your own situation today?
As a couple:
Pick a verse (possibly from the upcoming Sunday) to memorize. Each evening, discuss how that verse informed your day. What did you understand more about it? How did it keep your actions or emotions in check?
With your children:
Pick a verse to memorize together. (It might help to set it to music.) Throughout the day, look for situations where this verse is particularly relevant and ask the children what it can teach them. For example, Colossians 3:14-15: “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also do. And over all these, put on love.” Then as they become angry, talk with them about God’s forgiveness. And when they’re being spiteful, ask what it means to put on love.
Try a simplified version of lectio divina:
- Which part of this verse is most interesting to you?
- What do you think it’s telling you?
- Can you talk to God about that?
- How does all this make you feel?
Have kids finish the sentence “God is like…” (or “God’s love is like” or “Being a Christian is like”) and illustrate their analogy.
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