The One & Only

Welcome to Journey 2 – The One & Only

Continue your Omniallinfinitude™ Journey Here

 

The One & Only is the second of the twelve Omniallinfinitude™ Journeys.  Each Journey is presented through 16 blog posts.  Even though we are now pausing or blogging a different Journey,  we highly recommend completing the journeys in order at your own pace.

Each Journey is made up of Journey Elements   (click for more information).  You can also view or download the PDF version of this Journey by clicking the One & Only graphic at the top of the right sidebar.

 

Here’s how to participate:

  1. Read each blog post in the order they were posted.
  2. Complete the Journey Elements contained in each post.  Each Journey covers one attribute group and one spiritual practice.  All of the Elements relate to these in some way.
  3. Return to the Blog Post – we encourage you to comment based on the specific assignment.  Read other’s comments and engage in an online conversation.  These posts and comments are ongoing.
  4. For more information see How Does This Work on the Main Omni page.
  5. Then move on to the next post.  You can access the individual post pages from the top menu bar under Journey Elements,  or by or by clicking the links below in this post.
  6. When you complete a Journey – move on to the next Journey.  The format and Element structure will be the same in all the Journeys.
  7. Each Journey will also have its own blog,  and each post will have its own page,  in addition to appearing in the complete blog.  This will make it easier to complete the blog at your own speed,  as well as for others who start later.   We will eventually have 12 active blogs with people participating in all of them at the same time.

 

Complete the Blog Posts below in this order:

Click on the links to go to the individual blog posts with their respective comments.  Once you click to the Journal pages,  scroll up to get to the beginning of the blog post.  Each Journal post will also appear on the Journey Element Page that it follows.   For example, Journal 2.1 will appear on the same page and directly under Remember and Read.

 

The One & Only: What comes to your mind?

The One & Only 1: Remember and Read

The One & Only 2: Journal 2.1 – Beyond Transcendence

The One & Only 3: Analyze – Chapter Titles and Key Words

The One & Only 4:  Journal 2.2 – Bagel Choices

The One & Only 5: Investigate – The One & Only and 10 Things

The One & Only 6: Journal 2.3 – Ultimate Q & A

The One & Only 7: Practice: Prayer and Fasting and Why?

The One & Only 8: Journal 2.4 – God Shopping

The One & Only 9: More Cool Stuff – Worldviews

The One & Only 10: Journal 2.5 – The Big Six

The One & Only 11: Inventory – Your Wants and Needs

The One & Only 12: Journal 2.6 – Simply Mindboggling

The One & Only 13: Adventuring – Prayerwalk

The One & Only 14: Journal 2.7 – Nitty Gritty

The One & Only 15: Lyrics

The One & Only 16: Closure

 

While we encourage you to leave Comments,  we totally understand if you want to participate anonymously.  This format also works well for small groups meeting in person.  It’s ok to print out the PDF – just remember to keep a copy on your computer so you can use the links.

 

Credits for quotes,  music,  lyrics and videos appear in the Credits section in the back of the PDF.   Omniallinfinitude™ material may be reproduced as long as credit is given.  There is no fee for using this material.

 

Enjoy the Journey…..take your time….but take the Journey!

 

The One & Only – What comes to mind?

 

What comes to your mind?

 

From finding our One & Only Love,  to not missing out on our One & Only Chance,
We think of the uniqueness of DNA and snowflakes,
And perhaps discovering the Key
to the only Door,
to the only Answer, Solution, or Cure.

 

We think of rare treasure,  one-of-a-kind pieces of art,  relics,  manuscripts,  and jewels,
Hidden away in vaults,  displayed in museums,  sold at auctions for millions.
So priceless,  and highly valued,
So singular,  original and solitary,
So sought after and dreamed about,
So exclusive………
So endangered.

 

Whether its One of a Kind,  or the Only One I have,  It’s my One & Only.
It needs no upgrade,  update,  remodel,  or revamp.
There’s no generic,  no substitute,  no copy and paste.
It can’t be imitated.
No others exist.  Anywhere.

 

Many will try to pass off the knockoffs and cheap imitations.
There’s just not enough to go around,
So we fool ourselves into believing the lie.  We work so hard at it.
And then it’s gone,  over,  dead,  used up,  destroyed – We’re empty-handed.
Lost,  Looking,  Searching,  Wandering once again.
Our One & Only turned out to be so common and ordinary.

 

 

The true One & Only causes the world to cringe over His exclusivity
But He cannot be GOD without it!
So priceless,  unique,  singular and sought after,
Yet not hidden away – accessible to ALL.
The One & Only Love of our lives,  He holds the Key – to the Door – to the Answer.

 

 

There are NO others like Him.
There are NO others,  period.

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS:

 (In your own journal,  the downloadable PDF for this blog,  or in the Comment section for this post)

Before you begin Journey 2,  what comes to your mind as you ponder The One and Only?

 

 

The One & Only 1: Remember and Read

remember

Exodus 3:14a

“And God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM” (NIV)

 

We always begin by memorizing the theme verse for each journey  (including Book, Chapter and Verse).  Think of this as the necessary foundation for future excellence – like practicing scales on the piano or doing wind sprints or swimming laps,  or taking your vitamins,  or eating your vegetables.

What is that I hear? – OH NO!  Not memorization….

We actually recall or remember all kinds of things we’ve memorized without really even trying.  Can you think of any?

How about your phone number,  email address,  street address,  zip code,  social security number,  birthday,  names of your family,  how to get to work,  how to drive a car,  that secret recipe….or how to spell or multiply,  song lyrics,  movie scenes,  jokes,  what someone was wearing,  what car they drove,  sports statistics,  what chocolate tastes like,  what the ocean smells like,  and on and on.

That’s why we call this element Remember – it’s the remembering that is important.

 

Why do we remember what we remember?

Actually,  recollection is just the tip of the memory iceberg.  Within our marvelous and mysterious brain the memory works in collaboration with us and the world – it uses all our senses and emotions.  We associate smells,  colors,  places,  rituals,  symbols,  landmarks,  even people,  with memories and when we sense the trigger,  we remember.

For now you will just have to take my word for it – there are tremendous spiritual benefits from Remembering Bible verses:

  • Strengthens our faith
  • Shapes how we view the world
  • Makes God’s Word immediately accessible
  • Guards our minds

Here are some hints to help you get started.  We all learn differently – so don’t be afraid to try some of the more unusual methods.  Plus – some of them are just plain fun.  And not only do we need to remember the verse,  we need to remember to work on remembering the verse….double whammy!

  • Write the verse on several post it notes or index cards and put it where you will see it such as the car,  the bathroom mirror,  the kitchen sink,  a bulletin board,  your computer screen saver,  your cell phone,  your Facebook status,  by your bed…..Or use one of the many Scripture Memory APPs now available for phones and tablets.  Scripture Typer is one of our favorites.
  • Make plans to spend five minutes,  twice a day (usually as you get up and before bed) to review.  Review often…..
  • Say it slowly,  15 times in a row,  emphasizing each word.
  • If you have already learned it in another translation,  review that one.  Once you know it in one,  look it up in a couple of others to see what is different.
  • Review it when you are waiting in line,  or on hold on the phone.
  • Sing it – make up a tune to go with it,  or say it with an accent.
  • Rap it,  paint it,  draw it,  doodle it,  or diagram it like in Pictionary
  • For extra credit,  add the verse before and the verse after.

I like to think of this remember process as Texting or Tweeting My Brain and then having my brain Text or Tweet me back.

 

Also,  remember there is a downloadable PDF available for this Journey – click on the graphic at the top of the right sidebar.   You can download it and save it on your computer where it will link to the online Bible,  a dictionary,  the videos and the songs for this Journey.  You can also type into it and of course you can print it out.  We highly encourage – however you chose to record your discoveries and experiences – everyone to periodically comment online and read each other’s comments.

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the downloadable PDF for this blog,  or in the Comment section for this post)

When you COMMENT on this Element – share methods that worked for you, and any impact this process is having on any part of your life.  Also for fun – Share things you find easy to remember and things you never seem to be able to remember.  And don’t forget the REMEMBER verse from Journey 1 – What was it?

 

read

Joshua 1, 24Hebrews 11-12

(you can change translations after you click the blue chapter links to read these in other translations)

 

Please read through these four chapters in one sitting,  on three separate days; once from a modern translation,  once in a modern paraphrase,  and then finally with a pad and pencil by as you record your thoughts and observations.  It is also helpful to read the selections aloud.  As you read, underline words that describe who God is or the names He is called.  The blue Bible Chapter links above will bring up an online Bible and you can change the translation to whatever you want.

This element is about reading what it says – try to put aside any preconceived ideas about what you think it says,  or what you may have concluded based on other studies or classes.  We are not saying those ideas are wrong,  but for this Element,  we just want to read it as if for the first time.  Please read for the storyline – and see if you can then faithfully retell it in your own words.

Since you cannot type into this blog – we suggest you record your answers in a journal or download/print the PDF version.

 

First Reading:  Modern Translation – which one did you use?

Second Reading:  Modern Paraphrase – which one did you use?

Third Reading:  Reading Notes

Joshua 1:

Joshua 24:

Hebrew 11:

Hebrews 12:

Descriptions of God:

Names used for God:

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the downloadable PDF for this blog,  or in the Comment section for this post.)

Share with us any names or descriptions of God you discovered.  Also share any personal observations or experiences from just reading to see what it says.

Our next blog post will be The One & Only 2:  Journal 2.1 – Beyond Transcendence


The One & Only 2: Journal 2.1 – Beyond Transcendence

 

In Highest Honors we discovered there is much about God we can’t even begin to know.  This is because of His Transcendence,  the fact that He is God and we are not.  Even much of what we do know about Him is hard to comprehend.  This creates a tension with our need to make sense of our reality – how we think and live.

 

Because of this,  God,  being God,  reveals Himself to us in many ways, and we choose whether to believe this revelation or not.  This is where faith comes in.

We all have faith in something,  we exercise it everyday.
It’s not about whether you believe,  but what you believe in,  in whom or what you have placed your faith.

 

What you believe…….
determines what you do,
………your view of reality,
how you make sense of life and the world.

And what you do will also reveal what you believe.

 

Remember the saying,
Actions speak louder than words”?
Our actions are a result of our choices.
Our choices are determined by acting on what we believe.

 

At some point in each of our lives we will make the ultimate choice,  whether we believe in God and what kind of God we believe in.  The danger comes when we make ourselves the determiner of Truth.  When that happens,  we have transferred God’s Transcendence to ourselves.

 

Man has been doing this since the dawn of Time resulting in the myriad of ISMs,  religions,  worldviews – the frameworks we have developed to make sense of life and the world.  We are responsible to get it right because His Proof of Life is everywhere.

 

Are we looking,  are we thinking,  are we paying attention?

 

COMMENT:

(In your journal,  the PDF,  or in the Comment section for this post.)

List some of the things you put your faith in everyday through your actions and choices.

Our next post will be The One & Only 3: Analyze – Chapter Titles and Key Words.

 

 

The One & Only 3: Analyze – Chapter Titles and Key Words

analyze

Chapter Titles and Key Words

 

Give each chapter from this week’s Readings a Title and then write down some of the Key Words from each chapter.  Then answer the question at the bottom.  We’ve done the first one for you.

 

Joshua 1

Title:  Be Strong and Courageous

Key Wordsstrong,  courageous,  obey,  possess,  land,  God be with us.

 

Any other words jump out at you?

 

Joshua 24

Title:

Key Words:

 

Hebrews 11

Title:

Key Words:

 

Hebrews 12

Title:

Key Words:

 

What did you learn about God from these four chapters?

 

COMMENT:

(In your journal,  the PDF,  or in the Comment section for this post.)

Share your Chapter Titles and Key Words as comments.  List some of the things you learned about God from these four chapters.  The next post is The One & Only 4: Journal 2.2 – Bagel Choices.

 

 

The One & Only 4: Journal 2.2 – Bagel Choices

 

Imagine you walk into a room where your host has put out a sumptuous spread of assorted bagels and shmears.  Let’s walk through your decision making process,  the choices you will need to make if you are going to eat a bagel.

 

First off,  you’ll need to DISCOVER there are bagels in the room…..

How would you do this?

You could stumble across them,  smell them or see them…..

Or you could see other people hanging around them and go over to see what is going on.

Or,  if you are not too inquisitive,  distracted,  on the phone,  or whatever and end up sitting down without a bit of interest in the bagels……

Someone will have to come and tell you about them.

 

At this point,  whether you realize it or not,  your brain will run through the questions and choices below.

  • Investigation:  Do I go over to the bagels or not?
  • Interest:  Do I want to have a bagel?
  • Selection:  What Kind of bagel?
  • Size:  Do I want the whole bagel,  or just half the bagel….(and should I come back later and eat the other half?)
  • Prep:  Do I cut it in half,  or eat it whole,  do I toast it or not?
  • Enhancement:  What should I put on it?  Cream cheese,  peanut butter,  butter,  jam,  all of the above?
  • Presentation:  After all this,  I have a beautifully prepared bagel.  I can put it on a plate for all to see and admire.
  • Action:  Finally,  I must decide to take a bite…..

 

 

Who knew there was so much involved in bagel prep and consumption.

Choices are made all along the way.

We do this hundreds of times each day….

Without even thinking about it.

 

 

 

 

COMMENT:

(In your journal,  the PDF,  or the Comment section of this post)

Think about your average day:  List some of the choices you make.

What kinds of choices are the hardest for you to make?  The easiest?  The most important?

Many people try to not make choices and let others choose for them.  What is the danger in that?

The next post will be The One & Only 5: Investigate – The One & Only and 10 Things.

The One & Only 5: Investigate The One & Only and 10 Things

investigate

The One & Only

 

Define:  Please look up and write a brief definition (in the PDF version or your own journal) for each of the words below using a regular dictionary, not a Bible dictionary.

(Click on any word to link to dictionary.com for the word’s definition.)

 

  Existence                  

  Sufficiency               

  Self                          

  Solitariness               

  Independent             

  Free                         

  Simplicity                 

  Indivisible                

  One                          

  Unique                     

  Perfect                     

  Unity                        

  Necessity

 

Now write your own definition for The One and Only.

Share it as a COMMENT.

 

Review: Read the scriptures below and note what each discloses about God and what you think that means.

(Click on any verse to link to an online Bible to read the verse.)

Ephesians 4: 5-6

John 1:18

Romans 3:20

James 2:19

Deut. 4: 32-40

 

How many Gods are there?

Exodus 15:11

Isaiah 44:6-8, 45:5

 

Where did God come from?

Exodus 3:14, John 8:58

Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3

 

What does God need?

Acts 17: 24-28

John 5: 26

 

Is there anything like God?

Psalm 77: 13-14

Micah 7:18

 

What is God composed or made of? (Based on what you have read so far)

 

Conclude:

From what you’ve discovered above,  list your conclusions about the nature of God and Man in two columns below.

GOD                                                  MAN

 

 

COMMENT:

(In the PDF,  your journal,  or the Comment section for this post.)

Share your definition of The One & Only,  as well as any new insights from the Review and Conclude questions and references above.

 

10 things

The One & Only

 

  1. Yahweh (I AM WHO I AM) is the sacred,  personal name of Israel’s God eventually spoken aloud only by priests in the temple.  After the temple was destroyed in AD 70 the name was not pronounced.  It portrays the sense that God is self existent and always present with his people.  In the Middle Ages the name was translated Jehovah and now appears in our Bibles as LORD,  as opposed to Lord which is used for the name Adonay.
  2. Novation – “God has no origin.”
  3. A. W. Tozer – “For God is everywhere while He is nowhere,  for “where” has to do with matter and space,  and God is independent of both.  He is unaffected by time or motion,  is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the world His hands have made.”
  4. Only God can trust in Himself – all other beings must trust in Him.   All things need God. Only to God is nothing necessary.  This allows Him to be limited by nothing,  truly free and independent.
  5. There are no parts to God.  He is only composed of himself,  the ultimate in simplicity and perfection.
  6. God has no needs.  He does not need our help,  support or defense.
  7. Arthur W. Pink – “He is solitary in his majesty,  unique in his excellency,  peerless in his perfections.  He sustains all,  but is himself independent of all.  He gives to all,  but is enriched by none.”
  8. A. W. Tozer – “So,  were every man on earth to become an atheist,  it could not affect God in any way.  He is what He is in Himself without regard for any other.”
  9. Norman L. Geisler – “God is by nature an absolutely Necessary being.  That is,  He cannot not exist.”  God is Being.  Everything else only has being because it has been given to them by God.”
  10. God is the original, uncaused cause of everything.  He is not derived from anything.  He is and will ever be,  independent of you and me.

 References for the above quotes can be found in the back of the PDF version of The One & Only.

 

COMMENT:

(In the PDF,  your journal,  or the Comment section of this post.)

Pick one or two of the above quotes or statements and share any insights or challenges it presents to you.

Continue to review the Remember Verses and make sure you are up to date on all the prior postings.  There are some great conversations going in each blog post Comment section – so don’t forget to stop by and check them out.

Our next blog post will be The One & Only 6:  Journal 2.3 – Ultimate Q & A.

 

The One & Only 6: Journal 2.3 – Ultimate Q & A

 

We are all looking for answers.  Whether we realize it or not,  in order to survive we develop a framework from which we make sense of life and the world.  We draw our personal meaning and values from it,  it controls the way we think and ultimately live our lives.  It determines what we care about.

  • The risks we take and the choices we make
  • How we treat people and view history
  • How we engage culture
  • What we settle for and what we fight for
  • The relationships we make and the relationships we  break

This framework is called our Worldview and provides the desperately needed answers to those unsettling,  tension causing questions.

 

Questions asked by mankind from the beginning of time,  planted in our hearts by the Most High,  to draw us back to Him.

Questions about:

Creation:  Who Am I?  Where do I come from?

Meaning:  Why am I here?  What is my Purpose?  Where am I going?  Where should I be going?  Can I make an impact?

Morals and Ethics:  What is good,  valuable,  beautiful?  How do I treat others,  live in community?  Who’s in charge?

Afterlife:  What happens after I die?  Is there some kind of reckoning?  Am I responsible for my life’s impact?

Hope:  What will the future bring?  What about destiny,  progress,  can I make an impact for good?  Will things get better?

Truth:  What is real?  What can I trust?

Evil:  How do I explain evil,  sin?

God: Is there a God and what is He like?

 

Timeless questions about God,  origins,  evil,  human nature,  values,  destiny and truth,  beauty,  change,  progress,  life,  love,  purpose,  eternity……

 

These rise up from deep within our souls.

We want to trust.

We want to be loved.

We want to have purpose….

 

Is there anything worth living for?

Who can I trust?

Does anyone care?

Does anyone care about me?

 

 

COMMENT:

(In the PDF,  your journal,  or the Comment section for this post.)

Of the final four questions directly above;  which one speaks to your heart right now?

Why do you think that is?  Do you have an answer?

If not, where are you looking for one?

Our next post will be The One and Only 7: Practice – Prayer and Fasting and Why?

 

The One & Only 7: Practice – Prayer and Fasting and Why?

practice

Prayer and Fasting

 

The Spiritual Practices put us in a place where we are better able to interact with our environment and God. God can then reach inside our spirits and transform them.  Just as our body needs to eat,  breathe,  exercise,  drink,  sleep,  etc.,  so our spiritual self needs to make sure it is being sustained,  cared for,  and trained.  The results include spiritual growth,  a life controlled by the Holy Spirit,  evidence of the fruit of the spirit,  and the ultimate goal,  living life like Jesus did.

The Spiritual Practices are not:

  • Meritorious laws that earn favor with God
  • A way to show how spiritually mature we are
  • Unpleasant or difficult

Instead, they are:

  • Intentional
  • Activities we do that when practiced allow us to do activities we cannot now do.
  • Adaptable to work with our temperaments and gifts
  • Adjustable according to the rhythm and seasons of our lives

 

There are two kinds:

Practices of Abstinence –  when we stop doing something that is perfectly normal to allow ourselves to focus more on God,  His Word,  and growing in godliness.  These also help us resist our tendency toward sins of commission  (when we do something we shouldn’t do).  We withdraw to breathe in all that God can provide to us,  breaking the hold that the world has on our lives.  Practices of Abstinence help ready us and create room for the Practices of Engagement.

Practices of Engagement – when we do certain activities that help us grow in Christ and obey his commandments.  The Practices of Abstinence have opened up the time and broken up the preoccupations so we are now free to learn of,  focus on,  and practice those things that God commands us to do.  These assist in keeping us from our tendency toward sins of omission  (not doing the things we should do).  We engage to breathe out all that God commands us.

This Journey Element requires more time than most to complete so break it down into sections.  The five opportunities to Comment provide obvious breaking points.  Don’t miss the video at the end of the post.


Prayer

 

 

Much has been written on prayer,  Jesus spent much of His earthly life practicing it,  it was the only thing the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them,  and it is one of the earliest things we learn how to do as we say our prayers before bed as children.

Unfortunately,  we spend much more time talking about it,  sharing requests,  studying it,  and making up rules about it,  than we actually do it.  That is,  until we are flat on our backs in a hospital bed,  the bank account is empty,  our spouse has left,  our children are in jail,  or our job has been eliminated.  Then we pray!   Let’s not wait until the disasters happen.

 

When asked to share requests,  we talk about Aunt Susie’s big toe,  our fourth cousin who is traveling,  and the test our neighbors child is taking tomorrow…..all valid requests,  but really,  what about our needs?   Don’t we have any?   Of course we do……we either don’t recognize them,  or we are ashamed to share them or for some reason we think it is selfish to pray for our own needs.

 

Prayer is a practice of engagement – moment by moment communicating with God.  It strengthens our spiritual life and can easily be combined with the practices of Solitude and Silence.  It changes things on earth to be as in heaven.  It has power and for us to practice it is to engage the power of God.

So here is the challenge for this journey – let’s start with developing a daily practice of at least 10 minutes of personal prayer.

  1. Pick a time and place to be alone and pray for at least 10 minutes each day.  Use your MasterList  (see below)  to remind you how to pray.  If you miss this appointment,  use the last few minutes before your drift off to sleep to talk to God.
  2. This practice should become an integral part of your daily routine;  keep your running conversation going with God all day.
  3. Once weekly combine your prayer time with a time of Solitude and Silence.
  4. You can pray silently,  aloud or write down your prayers.
  5. You can pray anywhere,  anytime,  in any posture and as long as you need.
  6. Prayer should be addressed to the Father in the name of Jesus,  who has granted us access.
  7. Attitudes of prayer include persistence,  watchfulness,  humility,  sincerity and honesty.
  8. There is no place in true prayer for indifferent,  habitual ritual.

 

What should you pray for?

  • For yourself,  for others,  for your enemies
  • For wisdom,  direction,  peace,  courage,  strength,  obedience
  • For the government,  the cities,  the churches
  • For the poor,  the sick,  the prisoners,  the persecuted,
  • For God’s purposes to be accomplished
  • For physical,  material,  spiritual needs
  • For protection from evil and spiritual power
  • For guidance,  forgiveness and cleansing
  • Thanksgiving and praise for who HE is and how HE cares for you.
  • Thanksgiving and praise for His answers to prayer

Here are some supporting Bible verses to review:   2 Chron. 7:14, Jer. 29:7, Matt. 5:44, 6:5-6, Acts 1:14, Rom. 12:12, Eph. 6: 18, I Thess. 5:17

 

Creating the Prayer MasterList

After years of trying to keep track of various prayer lists for different groups to no avail,  and using an assortment of different kinds of prayer journals with special paper,  columns,  etc.,  I decided to make my own,  very simple prayer MasterList.  I recommend using a small journal,  that you can keep with you,  or create a space on your laptop or your phone to make the entries.  Every prayer request is logged in some way on this list.  I don’t go into great detail,  as I have found the Holy Spirit always brings back to mind why I am supposed to pray.  Items on the list are usually either just names,  or 3 to 4 word explanations.

It is also possible to set up this same system on a tablet or smart phone using one of the various To Do List or Prayer APPs now available.

Set Up Your Sections:

Think about the different categories of people and things you pray for before setting up your different sections.  Here are the sections I use:

  • General Ongoing requests:  These are things that I want to continue to pray for
  • In the News:  related to world and national events,  leaders,  natural disasters,  etc.
  • Friends and Family:  Close friends and extended family members by name
  • Christian Workers and Ministries:  By name
  • Salvation/Christian Growth:  People without Christ or walking without Christ.
  • Illness:  Those who are sick
  • Tough Stuff:  Those going through struggles,  use only first name if confidential.
  • Specific Requests:  Specific requests for something that has an end date
  • Section for myself:  General and specific,  spiritual and material
  • Section for each family member:  General and specific,  spiritual and material

Label Your Sections and Enter Requests:

I label the top of the page with the section title.  Make sure to leave some blank pages in between and then label the top of the next section.  You can put tabs on the pages if you wish.  Enter names and requests under each section.

Record Answers:

When a prayer is answered I just put a star by the line.  Many of the things I pray for are ongoing so I never stop praying for anyone on the list until they die.

 

Personal Reflections on Your Own Prayer Practices:

 

Prayer is a practice of engagement – which means we are to do something we normally would not do.  Many times prayer is seen as a last resort, something to do when there is nothing else to do.

 

 

 

 

  1. What kinds of things do you find yourself doing first,  before you finally pray about a situation?
  2. What excuses or rationalizations do you come up with to put off prayer or not do it at all?
  3. What kinds of things do you immediately pray about?  What kinds of things do you rarely consider praying about?
  4. List some of the ways prayer changes your perspective or outlook.
  5. Explain what you experience when others pray for you.
  6. When others ask you to pray for them,  what are you going to do?
  7. Share how you could personally pray about everything as you go through your day.

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the PDF,  or the Comments section of this post)

Record any insights or struggles,  any new things you learned from this practice of prayer as Comments.  Also share some of your answers to the Personal Reflections on Prayer section.  If you are already using a system that works for you to track prayer requests,  we would love to hear about it also as a Comment.

 

why?

Prayer

 

Julian of Norwich – “Prayer unites to the soul of God.”

Dallas Willard – “Prayer is talking to God about what we are doing together…pray about what you are interested in and then the circle of our interests will grow in the largeness of God’s love to what God is interested in.”

William Carey –“Prayer – secret,  fervent,  believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.”

Andrew Murray – “Prayer is not a monologue,  but dialogue.  Its most essential part is God’s voice in response to mine.  Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”

Curtis Mitchell – “Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance but laying hold of His willingness.  God never needs to be made willing to grant the request.  Persistence in prayer is not to make God more like man,  but man more like God.”

Jesus“You may ask for anything in my name and I will do it.”  John 14:14

The disciples never asked Jesus to teach them anything,  except how to pray.

Richard Foster – “We should never make prayer too complicated.  An inner sense of compassion is one of the clearest indications from the Lord that this is a prayer project for you.”

Frank Laubach – “…live so as if you see anybody it will be to pray.”  Invite Jesus to walk with you and touch those around you with his love and compassion.  Throw a cloak prayer around anyone in our nearness.

C.S. Lewis – “We must lay before Him what is in us,  not what ought to be in us”

John Ortberg – “Desperate people pray…people in foxholes pray…when we reach the limit of our resources we pray instinctively…Desperation prayers have been the beginning of spiritual life for many people.  But,  they are not sufficient to sustain it.”

The Bible – Prayer changes things.  The enemy would rather we do anything but pray.

Pray without ceasing – I Thess. 5: 17

Pray about everything – Phil. 4: 6

References for the above quotes can be found in the back of the PDF version of The One and Only.

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the PDF,  or the Comments section of this post)

Pick one or two of the above quotes or statements and share any insights or challenges it presents to you.

 

Fasting

 

Fasting is often done in combination with focused prayer for a specific need or action,  or for seeking God’s guidance.  It is the most obvious practice of abstinence,  since it requires the cessation of eating or drinking for a period of time to allow us to focus our dependence on God and His ability to satisfy all our needs.

It teaches us temperance,  self control,  moderation and restraint,  as well as humility.  It goes beyond skipping a meal.  We need to commit in advance to a period of fasting,  and then pray through it as we go about our day.  The struggle that ensues,  the hunger pangs,  reveal much about what we depend upon,  and remind us to pray.

 

No matter what,  during my fasting experiences I am always hungry,  even though I probably would not have been under normal circumstances.  There is no reason most of us could not go 24 hours without food.

 

 

Take the fasting challenge and see what God reveals to you.

  1. Fasting usually pertains to abstaining from food and drink for a time,  but it can also include partial fasts from a particular item,  as well as from other practices that draw us away and dull our spiritual sensitivity.
  2. Fasting is more than skipping a meal and should be planned and prepared for.  For those with no fasting experience,  plan your fast to be no longer than one 24 hour period  (two meals).
  3. Anyone with medical issues should check with their doctor prior to fasting.
  4. Identify a reason or purpose for your fast,  perhaps a need in your life,  a struggle you need to get through,  a action you need to take,  for God to move in an area outside of your control,  for greater vision,  for wisdom,  for relationships to heal,  or for a greater awareness of God.
  5. Our goal this journey is to fast for a 24 hour period from food and all drinks except water.  An alternative would be to fast for a 12 hour period.
  6. The 24 hour fast should start after dinner,  fasting through breakfast and lunch,  breaking the fast with dinner the next day.
  7. The 12 hour fast should start right after breakfast,  fasting through lunch,  breaking the fast with dinner that same day.
  8. Start your fast with prayer and be prepared to notice and record what you feel physically,  emotionally and spiritually.  There will be spiritual warfare,  so be prepared.   Ask God to give you the strength and to reveal Himself to you.
  9. During the time you would have prepared and eaten your meals,  spend the time praying,  reading or studying the Bible,  focusing this time on God,  not just going about your normal activities.

Here are some additional Bible verses to review:  Psalm 35:13, 69:10, Daniel 1:12, Matt 4:2, 6:16-18, Acts 13:2


Personal Reflections on Your Own Fasting Practices:

  1. The practice of Fasting is not just about the absence of food.  What does it reveal in your life?
  2. What does it free up in your life?
  3. How does it benefit you?empty plate
  4. What was the hardest part of this exercise for you?  Did you become aware of any desires that control you?
  5. The key to fasting is moving our focus from our physical appetites to concentrating on feeding our spiritual selves by focusing on God.  It is more than missing a couple of meals,  it is using the time normally given to these meals,  their preparation and consumption to commune with God through other spiritual practices.  How did you spend your mealtimes?
  6. Fasting is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines today.  Why do you think that is?
  7. What other things could you fast from that would reveal how much they control your life or help get your perspective and priorities in order?

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the PDF,  or the Comments section of this post)

Record any insights or struggles,  any new things you learned from this practice of fasting as Comments.   Also share some of your answers to the Personal Reflections on Fasting section.

 

why?

Fasting

 

Dallas Willard – “Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a sustenance beyond food.  Through it we learn by experience that God’s word to us is a life substance,  that it is not food alone that gives life,  but the words that proceed out of the mouth of God.”

Richard Foster – “Fasting must forever center on God.  More than any other discipline,  fasting reveals the things that control us.  We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things,  but in fasting these things surface.”

David“I humbled my soul with fasting.” Psalms 69: 10

Fasting will most often be accompanied by spiritual warfare requiring the use of all the weapons of Ephesians 6.

Dallas Willard – “Fasting frees us from having to have what we want.  We learn to remain calm,  serene,  and strong when we are deprived.  Positively we learn that God meets our needs in His own ways.”

Fasting will bring us out of the domination of desire.

Andrew Murray – “Fasting helps to express,  to deepen,  and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything – to sacrifice ourselves – to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”

In God’s Word fasting is connected with a very troubled spirit or a very anxious heart.  In a sense, it’s not something you choose,  so much as something that chooses you,  because it’s that important.

Fasting puts things in proper focus.  Food and the things of this life are not as important to me now as ___________ (fill in the blank).

The early church expected those who fast to give away what they would have eaten,  either in money or in food,  to those in need,  and even praised those who fasted in order to give to the poor.

John Wesley – “Is not the neglect of this plain duty  (I mean fasting,  ranked by our Lord with almsgiving and prayer)  one general occasion of deadness among Christians?”

Martin Luther – “He wants nothing at all to do with you if by your fasting you court Him as if you were a great saint,  and yet meanwhile nurse a grudge or anger against your neighbor.”

References for the above quotes can be found in the back of the PDF version of The One and Only.

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the PDF,  or the Comments section of this post)

Pick one or two of the above quotes or statements and share any insights or challenges it presents to you.


Video: Give…Fast…Pray

Click the above link and watch the Give…Fast…Pray video a couple times.  Then answer the questions below.

  1. How do we get stuck?
  2. What does God want us to do?
  3. What do we forget?
  4. What are we afraid of?
  5. What does it mean to live your life with reckless abandon?
  6. What do the buckets in the video symbolize to you?
  7. What does the water in the video symbolize to you?
  8. What do you think happened at the end of this video?
  9. Any new thoughts?  Will you live your life any differently?

 

COMMENT:

(In your own journal,  the PDF,  or the Comments section of this post)

Share your answers to the questions about the video as Comments.  Our next blog post will be The One & Only 8 – Journal 2.4: God Shopping .

 

The One & Only 8: Journal 2.4 – God Shopping

 

Below are the five major Worldviews that exist in societies around the world.  These have been with human culture over time and often are repackaged in modern wrappings.  There really is nothing new under the sun.  We will review these in more depth in the More Cool Stuff element of this journey.

 

 

Every ism,  philosophy,  religion,  worldview,  or personal outlook is some flavor or variation or combination of these five.  There are some basic similarities to all of these – they all strive to answer the basic questions of our heart.

 

COMMENT:

(In the PDF,  your journal or the comment section for this post)

At this point in your spiritual journey,  which box above would describe your basic Worldview?

How have you come to these beliefs?

What kinds of things have impacted the formation of your Worldview?

What do you base your beliefs on?

Is proof that your Worldview is correct important to you?

The next post is The One & Only 9: More Cool Stuff – Worldviews.