This week we focus on The Breath of God and Pentecost with a
special guest meditation by Olly Ryder from Plymouth
England. Olly is an Anglican priest and church
planter, and runs a city centre resource church with his wife,
Olly shared Christian meditation has helped him slow down and
tap into more stillness, silence and solitude, experiencing the
undercurrent of God’s Spirit beneath all the surface noise.
Here are some of Olly’s tips:
Practicing Silence &
Solitude - Alongside my normal
daily devotional practices such as 5 year journaling, bible reading
and extempore prayer, I now incorporate a lot more silent prayer,
biblical meditation and solitude including:
1 - Timer - As part of my morning prayers I
now set a timer on my phone for 5/10 or 15 minutes, open with a
short prayer and then sit in silence in God's presence. When the
timer finishes I have a gentle alarm to end the time - and
sometimes treat myself to another session! Initially 5 minutes felt
a long time, now it feels as if I'm just getting going. The Daily
Still has been a great spring board in cultivating silence and
tuning into God's voice and continues to be a great help.
2 - Meditation - I've been memorizing and
using different set prayers and verses of scripture, particularly
the Psalms, as a tool for prayer. During the night if I wake and
start worrying about something I'll try and replace my worries by
reciting a Psalm in my mind or even just a word or phrase such as
'the Lord is my shepherd', or 'good Shepherd', or 'Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy' or one word such as 'Peace'.
3 - Nature - I've also been finding
deliberately noticing nature so helpful and soul filling. My phone
camera roll is now filled with photographs of flowers and trees!
I've also got some binoculars to spot birds. Often on a Saturday
morning as a family we will go for a walk with some hot chocolate,
cream and marshmallows and spend time in God's creation just
slowing down and cutting out some of the distractions.
4 - Exercise - Exercise continues to be key
in maintaining soul peace. I enjoy walking, running and wild
5 - Reading - It's been so helpful over this
year in particular to read some books that fill my soul. I've been
enjoying some of Eugene Peterson's books, he's got a very
Vicar // St Matthias