My spiritual practices are what have kept me grounded during this difficult time. Is there interest in a thread where I share some of my spiritual practices?

FYI: These are Christian practices, but there might be some things that anyone can find useful.
Ok so there is definitely interest. I’m pretty sure y’all will get tired of it but here we go.

I again want to state that these practices and some of my recs that go with them are overtly Christian but some can be adapted.
So first of all, I am a dyed in the wool Pentecostal and Charismatic that has become an Episcopalian. I have some intersections with the Baptist, Lutheran, and AME traditions. I was introduced to more of the Catholic and Orthodox traditions while I was in seminary.
I could say more about myself but anyway. Here are my practices. I didn’t invent these and I’m just doing stuff that some folks have done for a long time. Sometimes contextualizing or whatever.
Also, I just want to say that I don’t do all of this stuff every day and that I’m not any better than anyone at anything. Ok enough qualification. Here we go.
Here is one that I do do every day. That’s a pun but you’ll get it in a minute.

While I’m using the facilities, I take time out to center myself and to say a prayer or two. This is also when I take time to pray in the Spirit (speak in tongues). TMI I know, but useful.
Going to the bathroom is something that we do daily multiple times a day. So for me, this is the perfect time to check in with myself and to reflect.

I also do the same thing in the shower. It’s just a good time to think and reflect.
Also, I keep a Bluetooth speaker in my shower. First thing in the morning I listen to morning prayer and a devotional podcast.

I listen to two different prayer podcasts because there are things that I like about both.
This was the first daily office podcast that I ever listened to. It has three episodes a day for Morning, Mid-day, and evening prayer. This podcast uses a hodgepodge of Anglican prayer book stuff (for lack of a better term.…
I also listen to this podcast. It is fairly new. It uses the 1979 Book of common prayer. The book of common prayer is what informs Episcopal worship. It has what’s called “offices” for different times of day (simple explanation).…
Also, Alexa has a skill that you can teach her called “episcopal prayer” that will do the morning and evening offices.

There’s more that can be said about the book of common prayer but I don’t want to bore y’all.

Anyway, these are the things that I do almost every day.
The other thing that I forgot to add is that the Daily Office has scripture readings to it so you can listen or read along with those. They cover most of the Bible.

Now let me get back to some broader practices.
Breathing. This is huge. Breathing is something that, when done with purpose can be spiritual and a way to get focused.

I have an Apple Watch and so I will do the breathe prompt with that. But you don’t need an app to tell you to breathe. Just take deep breaths in and out.
I use breathing to center myself when I start to feel overwhelmed or when I get too many things going at once. It is a good way to steady oneself. I try to take 3-5 good breaths or to breathe steadily for a minute.
Intention setting is another practice that I use. I set intentions for prayer or other devotional times. I set intentions for my work day. I set intentions for practical stuff like washing my hair or cleaning.
I’ll get back to intention setting in a minute. But I want to talk about my altar for a moment. This is a practice that’s somewhat new to me.

In seminary, I learned about icons and so I got myself Christ the Liberator by Robert Lentz.
I ran into home altars on Pinterest early in the pandemic and so I decided to do something similar when we moved into our new house this spring.
Here’s my altar. You can see my Christ the Liberator icon in the middle. On the right is a Nativity. In the middle is an oil incense thing. Left is a prayer candle. I got myself a legit incense burner for Christmas.
I got my icon from here:

I got the frame off of Amazon.
Here is my new incense burner. I got it from here:
So back to intention setting. I use my prayer candles for my prayer intentions. I light a candle almost daily for prayer and have it burning at different times during the day.

I have other special candles like this MLK one (it’s brand new).
I also have a Frederick Douglass candle and a candle with the Saints of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I light these when a famous black person passed or on other black occasions. I will light them briefly each day in February.
I also have a candle that my MIL made me from the remains of the altar candles at her church. I intend to burn it on certain holy days. I still have a candle holder from my wedding that I intend to put a candle in to light on my anniversary and on my and my partners’ birthdays.
I do my incense waaaay more than I should. I got it only for holy days, but I like the smell of it. 😬😬
Alright, here’s another basic and adaptable spiritual practice: walking.

Before the pandemic, I would walk my neighborhood. When I needed time to think. I still walk, but it’s less frequently than I would like. As I walk, I pray, reflect, meditate, whatever.
I also walk around my house. My house is set up to where o can walk in circles and so that’s what I do. It’s a good way to get lost in thought and reflection.
Driving is another spiritual practice. Since I moved to Chicago, I don’t drive nearly as much as I used to. It’s a function of the pandemic but also there not being much good driving area except Lakeshore.

When I lived in Missouri and Virginia, I would take long drives.
Occasionally we will go for family drives now, but I have started getting carsick so it’s not as enjoyable but I still do it.
I use this app for different types of Christian prayer practices.

I enjoy praying the rosary, the divine mercy chaplet, and doing Lectio Divina among other things.…
If you’re squeamish about the Catholic Rosary, there are also Anglican and Lutheran rosaries. The Methodists might even have one too. 🤣🤣🤣

Here’s a Protestant book about it:…

It’s widely available if you don’t want to give Bezos money.
I want to say more about the Chaplet of Divine mercy. I have been greatly impacted by praying it. It is asking God to have mercy. I prayed it the night before Election Day and Inauguration Day.

There are spoken and sung versions of it.
So don’t judge me but I really like the song on this cheesy video. I feel like it could be made super black and dope but anyway.

There’s also this one.

Also, let me say something about Lectio Divina “divine reading.” You can probably do a version of this with any text, but I use the Bible.…
Let me also plug this book I used in seminary.…
One of my favorite practices is silence. I can’t really do it at home with kids and all of that.

Before the pandemic I used to go on spiritual retreats at a Catholic retreat center. They were always super powerful.
The center that I go to is run by the Jesuits so there is a lot of Ignatian spirituality. Idk enough about it to speak authoritatively and I don’t think that I do it right when I go. But I enjoy it.
If I think of some more things I will add. But yeah. These things have helped me a lot. A. Lot.
OPE. Yep thought of like, two right after I said I was done.

So I mentioned the Daily Ofice above. Part of the DO is scripture reading (OT, Epistle, Psalm, Gospel). It covers most of the Bible in a two year period.
I love holding my physical Bible, turning the pages, and reading. But listening allows me to cover more ground. I’ve been doing the daily office for coming up on two years now and so I’ve made it through most all of the Bible at this point.
Speaking of Bible, I want to share this app with you that is for progressive Christians. I was asked to write a devotional for it.…
Speaking of devotional a, I love this daily podcast called Forward Day By Day. It is short and powerful. I usually listen to it in the shower.…
So back to the daily office. There is a lectionary that has all of the readings for each day. One of my goals is to read and study the readings each day. I don’t think the study part will happen though, but I need to dust off my Greek and Hebrew tools and whatnot.
The daily office lectionary is is the book of common prayer, and you can also find it here (we are currently in the season of Epiphany).…
I also have a prayer list that I modified from this approach to prayer. I read this book years ago so idk of it holds up for me but what needed to stick to my spirit did.…
Also, I love Coptic bound journals because they’re easy to keep open while you’re journaling aloe writing prayers.
So, in the Daily office there are four different times of prayer. Morning, Monday, Evening, and Compline (prayers before bed). In Catholicism there’s the liturgy of the hours that adds several more times including an early early morning prayer.
I (sort of) combined the two. I added these (and compline but it didn’t make the screen shot) to my calendar on a separate calendar and set reminders. I don’t pray all of the times every day and I don’t always do 15 minutes (sometimes shorter sometimes longer).
I have this calendar so that I have a guide of times to connect. Sometimes I remember later and so I pray later. I almost always do either Prime or Terce. Most days I will hit midday prayer and Vespers. I usually do prayers before I go to bed.
I was talmbout Ignatian spirituality and forgot the prayer of Examen. This is a really good way to take stock of your day whether you make it spiritual or not.…
Also, a lot of nights I pray myself to sleep. Somrtimes that’s while listening to the Bible. Sometimes it’s in silence. Sometimes while listening to music. More recently it’s been with the Hallow app (mentioned above).
I think I’m done now. 👀👀👀

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