Every follower of Jesus wants to be a person of prayer. That’s what Eugene Peterson suggests in the introduction to Seeking God’s Face. I think he’s right. Trouble is, few of us know where to start or what to say.
This is where Seeking God’s Face is brilliant. It encourages a daily practice of prayer and reading by providing a structured program throughout the year.
Each daily reading has several sections:
Invitation: A brief passage of Scripture drawing the reader into a mindfulness of God’s presence.
Quiet: The reader is encouraged to be still before the Lord. Turn off. Slow down. Be quiet. “Cultivating a stilled, attentive heart before God and quieting down actual noise and internal noise is a vital step in preparing to hear God’s voice.” (p.19)
Bible Song: Each day has a Psalm to be used a prayer. These Psalms guide the reader to respond to God. It might be confession of sin, praise for His goodness, or magnifying his power. Following these Psalms will take the reader through the entire Psalter twice in the year.
Bible Reading: The readings follow the celebrations of the church year: Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost etc. The readings are for meditation: to hear the voice of God. Since we believe the best place to hear God’s voice is Scripture, this is a welcome alternative to reading what someone else has written, and to hear God’s word directly.
Quiet: The second period of quiet presents an opportunity to move to a more contemplative frame, opening ourselves to what God will say to us in his word.
Dwelling: The reader is encouraged to slowly re-read the Bible passage, listening for words and concepts that stand out as they read. This is lectio divina – listening for God’s voice and seeking to grow in our walk with him. The author acknowledges this may be new for some, but in a world where we are so used to interpreting, studying and analysing the word it is good to train ourselves simply to listen deeply.
Free Prayer: Several prayer points are noted, which are excellent prompts to broaden our prayer focus well beyond our immediate needs and personal gaze. For example: the first time I used this book it was suggested I pray for the continent of Australia. I thought that was pretty good!
Prayer: Each day has a set prayer where the living theology of the reformed confessions is enfolded into the Christian activity of prayer. One of the true benefits of this volume is that it works the faith heritage we know and love into our devotion and praise.
“If we can begin to weave these core Christian beliefs into our prayers, most likely we’ll find them trickling into our minds, embedded in our hearts, and lived out in our lives [.22]
Blessing: a final blessing closes the session, reminding us of God’s good intentions and his gracious provision.
Each day is conveniently arranged on a page opening, with a helpful table pointing the reader to the correct reading for each respective date.
I love the way Seeking God’s Face opens my mind to God’s voice in his word. I love the way it slows me down. I love its depth of content. I love the way it draws me into the reformation heartbeat.
Whether you’re busy and your schedule is overgrown, or whether you’re looking for renewed opportunity to deepen your sense of God’s presence, Seeking God’s Face is just what you’re after.
As a Pastor, I can only dream about how my local church would grow and mature if every person used Seeking God’s Face for a year!
…and I should point out it’s way cheaper to buy this title through Book Depository.