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Read excerpts from the book that began the
My Quiet Spaces ministry.

Contents

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

A Quiet Space to Find Refreshment

When You Feel Tired and Worn-out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

When You Need to Feel God’s Presence. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

When You Feel You’ve Lost Your Way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

When You Feel Alone and Forgotten. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

When You Need Peace and Quiet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

When You Need Encouragement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

When Joy Is Missing from Your Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

A Quiet Space to Offer Thanksgiving

Thanks for Your Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Thanks for Your Job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Thanks for This Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Thanks for Your Church. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Thanks for Your Pastor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

Thanks for the Privilege of Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Thanks for Your Body and Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Thanks for Your Country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

Thanks for Good Friday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Thanks for Your Salvation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Thanks for Your Safety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

A Quiet Space to Pray for Life’s Stresses

When You Have Too Much to Do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

When There’s No Time for You and Your Needs. . . . . . . 89

When You’re Waiting for Someone Who’s Late. . . . . . . . 92

When You’re Worried about Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

When You Feel Disorganized. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

When You’re Procrastinating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

When You Feel Overwhelmed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

When You Want Time to Pass Quickly. . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

When You’re Anxious. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

When You’re Running Late . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

A Quiet Space to Pray for a Relationship

Your Relationship with Your Life Partner. . . . . . . . . . . 121

Your Relationship with Your Son. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

Your Relationship with Your Daughter. . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Your Relationship with Your Mother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Your Relationship with Your Father. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

Your Relationship with Your Grandparent. . . . . . . . . . 137

Your Relationship with a Difficult Boss . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Your Relationship with a Friend. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Your Relationship with Your Prayer Group. . . . . . . . . . 146

A Quiet Space to Celebrate Special Occasions

Celebrating Someone’s Birthday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

Celebrating an Anniversary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Celebrating Your Birthday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Celebrating a Wedding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

Celebrating a Confirmation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163

Celebrating a Baptism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166

Celebrating Christmas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

Celebrating Easter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

Celebrating New Year’s Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

A Quiet Space for Endings and Beginnings

When You Want to Pray for Healing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

When You Need Forgiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

When You Need Guidance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

When You Need Freedom from an Addiction. . . . . . . . 191

When You Seek a New Walk with the Lord . . . . . . . . . 194

When Someone You Love Dies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

When a Special Time Ends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

When a Relationship Breaks Down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205

Introduction

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had all the time in the world to do all the things you wanted to do? Even better, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have enough time each day to cultivate a spiritual life—to pray, to connect with God, to experience the Divine?

In today’s world, women are busier than ever. Not only does a woman often manage the multiple tasks and responsibilities of home, family, and career, but she also juggles a variety of roles—mother, daughter, wife, employee, friend, volunteer. The list seems endless. Each morning, she hits the ground running, to-do list and cell phone in hand. By the time the last minutes of the day drain away, she falls into an exhausted sleep, haunted by the ghosts of things she has yet to accomplish.

How can a busy woman find time for personal prayer during one hectic day after another? How can God speak to her amidst the turbulence of timetables, schedules, and  agendas? Where is there a moment for her to hear God’s still small voice above the tumult of a busy life?

When you look at your day, you might feel as if every moment is filled. Yet, time for prayer is available to you if you know where to look.

Imagine your day as an empty cardboard box about two feet square. This box contains all the waking hours of your day. Your most important to-do items that will require you to spend time on them—activities like writing a business report, going to the doctor, meeting with your child’s teacher, or shopping for the week’s groceries—are like bowling balls. They are large, bulky, inflexible blocks of time that you have to fit into your day. How many bowling balls will fit into your box? About four? Already, your day is full of time-consuming activities that cannot be ignored.

Take another look at your time box. Notice the spaces between the bowling balls. You have room for a few tennis balls—activities that take a little less time than your major projects but still have to get done such as returning a library book, dropping off the dry cleaning, or picking up milk on the way home. These tennis balls of time soon fill up the space around the bowling balls.

Even still, you have a little space left. You have room for a few golf balls—those unplanned half hours of time here and there when a phone call must be returned, new work comes in, or a meeting runs long.

Your box in now full. Just as you thought, you have no room for anything else, much less room for your personal prayer time!

Imagine holding a handful of dry sand. How many grains can you pour into the box before it’s completely filled? Quite a few! The grains of sand represent stray minutes of time that usually go unnoticed and unused. Where do they come from? You find these stray minutes while you’re on hold with the cable company, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, stopped in a traffic jam, making a quick coffee break, waiting for a meeting to begin, between phone calls—in any one of the myriad times during the day when a small opportunity becomes available. These grains of sand—quiet spaces of time—are all around you if you look for them.

Quiet Spaces is a book for just such times. It includes short meditations that will encourage and enable you to feel the presence of God. Each Quiet Space contains the following components:

Calming—a passage from the Psalms to calm your mind, Centering—an exercise to focus your thoughts,
Centering—an exercise to focus your thoughts,
Praying—a prayer for the particular Quiet Space,
Listening—a Gospel passage offering the words of Jesus,
Returning—an exercise to anchor your prayer experience.

Whenever you encounter a Quiet Space, take the opportunity to spend those few minutes with God. First, read the passage from the Psalms (under Calming). Read it three times slowly and feel yourself become aware of a calming Presence. If you find visual reminders helpful, write the psalm on an index card and leave it where you can see it during the day.

Next, focus your thoughts with a moment of imagination. The Centering suggestions will give you an idea of how to do this. You don’t even have to close your eyes.

Then, read the Praying section. Read the prayer slowly, paying attention to the words. The short sentences and thoughts of Quiet Space prayers help you to do this. If you find your mind wandering, start over at the beginning and read through the prayer again. In some cases, italicized words will prompt you to substitute the name, gender, or situation of your personal prayer.

When you finish the prayer, read the words of Jesus (under Listening). Consider how his words relate to your life and your present situation.

Finally, anchor your experience and prepare to return to your world by using the Returning exercise. You can continue to use this exercise throughout the day to remind yourself of the Quiet Space.

These Quiet Spaces can take as little as five minutes to complete. If you have more time, spend a few quiet minutes after each section thinking about what God is saying to you. This book contains many Quiet Spaces that are divided into various prayer subjects. Whether you choose to read them in sequence, randomly, or by topic, God is waiting to speak to you in your Quiet Space.

I first wrote Quiet Spaces with the intention of helping women find time for spirituality and faith in their busy lives. Now, with the second edition of Quiet Spaces, the basic intention remains the same, but I also want to offer opportunities for further interaction with the Quiet Spaces experience. With that in mind, I, along with the staff Upper Room Books, created My Quiet Spaces (myquietspaces.org).

I invite you to visit My Quiet Spaces where you’ll find resources to enrich your spiritual walk. Whether you want a more focused prayer life, a way to explore your spiritual journey through journaling, an opportunity to connect online with small groups who are also sharing the Quiet Spaces experience, or a way to connect with those people close to you in your daily life, the website provides you with a monthly theme and suggestions on how to explore that theme through prayer, journaling, online interaction, and in-person small groups.

The website provides exciting new opportunities that I trust will bring you closer to God. Drop in, say hello, and

participate where you feel most comfortable. Some weeks, you might want to concentrate on prayer; other times, you might feel the need to discuss your spiritual journey through our online forum. There will be times when you find the journaling exercises most helpful and other times when you can use the My Quiet Spaces website to give you a starting point of discussion for small groups, Sunday school classes, friends, or family.

As the psalmist implores us, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). This psalm reflects my personal invitation to you to taste and see what blessings God has for you.

Your Relationship with a Friend

Calming

For the sake of my relatives and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”

Psalm 122:8, nrsv

Centering

Think about your friend. See this person clearly. Bring to mind a happy time the two of you shared. Enjoy reliving that moment.

Praying

Here is my friend, O God. Thank you for this person. Thank
you for all we share together.
Thank you for the bond of love between us.
Thank you for our trust in each other.
Thank you for our friendship.
He/she has enriched my life. So many times, I have trusted my friend to take my concerns, to listen to my worries, and to hear my joys and my sorrows. And I have done the same for him/her.
Gracious God, I pray that you will reach out your hand and bless this person.
Touch this person with your loving-kindness. Fill his/her heart with your light, joy, and peace.
Wrap your love around him/her.
Let him/her know that he/she is truly loved, not just by me but also by you.
As I pray for my friend, I realize that my closeness with him/her is just a shadow compared to the closeness I have with you.
You are always there,
always waiting,
always ready,
always willing,
always available.

Listening

“You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
John 15:14-15, nrsv

Returning

As you think about your friend, continue to think about the friendship you have with Jesus, and realize that your friendship with Jesus is a model for your friendship with this person.

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Print Book

  • 2/7/2002
  • 969
  • 978-08358-0969-6
  • Print Book
  • 4 x 6.5
  • 224
  • 0.38

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