Monday, January 25, 2010

Building An Altar

The altar in my home is a sacred space where I go to meet God to meditate, pray and center myself before Bible study. For me setting up an altar has helped me to get in the zone. By simply going through the motions of lighting a candle and sitting in the same place, it jump starts things and takes less time to leave the outside distractions behind.

Now, I know when I say the word altar people immediately think of a wooden bench with candles and incense. It can be anything you would like it to be. Possibly a bench, ottoman, rug, your favorite cozy chair in a hallway nook, a tree in your garden or even a window sill. Just create a space that has special meaning for you...a space that is quiet and peaceful where you can hear that still small voice within.

"Okay. Now I have an altar...what am I supposed to put on it?" Again, anything you like. It's different for each individual. You might have candles, some cherished mementoes like river rocks collected on a walk with a loved one, favorite Bible study books, cd's with classical music, a prayer journal, note pad with goals jotted down, etc. Anything that brings in gratitude as well as items you might use during your Bible study times.

During many times in His life Jesus withdrew from His disciples and the crowds to be alone in prayer. He often went to solitary places like the mountainside or gardens for prayer, even very early in the morning while it was still dark. Jesus found it very important to be in undisturbed quietness so His soul would be ready for communion with His Father. Like Jesus, we too need to find that quiet place where we can be free from disturbance for often God does not shout His messages to us, but gently whispers His words of guidance.

So this week, find your place of solace. Build an altar where you can shut out the world to hear that still, small voice and connect your spirit.

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." ~ Mark 1:35

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