Should You Have A Spiritual Director?

Written by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Continued from page 1

Should you have a spiritual director? The Holy Spirit is at work in every life. There are many good people who live virtuous lives withoutrepparttar aid of a spiritual director. The idea of talking to someone about their relationship with God may not appeal to them. (3) There is nothing wrong with that. If this describes you, then spiritual direction is probably not right for you at this moment in time. If, however, you have reached a point in which you are struggling to find God in your life, or you are trying to discern God?s will for your life, or you would simply appreciaterepparttar 140949 opportunity to speak with a willing listener about your spiritual journey, then spiritual direction may very well berepparttar 140950 answer.

How do you find a spiritual director? There are many centers for spiritual direction. If there is one that focuses on your faith tradition in your geographical area then that is a good place to start. Otherwise, asking a member ofrepparttar 140951 clergy for a recommendation may offer some leads. As with any other therapeutic relationship, there may be some trial and error involved. Every director-directee relationship is different. Personalities may not gel. An initial interview should be used to determine what you hope to obtain through spiritual direction and whetherrepparttar 140952 relationship would be beneficial.

In my own experience, I have benefited greatly from spiritual direction. I lead a busy life and I appreciaterepparttar 140953 opportunity to have that one hour a month set aside for reflection. I look forward to it immensely. Meeting with my director has helped me to see God's action in my life more clearly and to be more open torepparttar 140954 workings ofrepparttar 140955 Spirit. I would recommend it to anyone who seeks to explore his or her relationship with God.

1 Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968) quoted in "Writings on Spiritual Direction by Great Christian Masters," Ed. Jerome M. Newfelder & Mary C. Coelho. Minneapolis: The Seabury Press, 1982, 15.

2 Margaret Guenther, "Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction," Boston: Cowley Publications, 1992, 87.

3 Madeline Birmingham & William Connolly, "Witnessing torepparttar 140956 Fire: Spiritual Direction andrepparttar 140957 Development of Directors," Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1994, 65.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of "The Spiritual Woman Newsletter", ( and author of "Letters to Mary from a Young Mother"(iUniverse 2004). She has a Master of Arts in Applied Theology from Elms College.

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of "The Spiritual Woman Newsletter", ( and author of "Letters to Mary from a Young Mother"(iUniverse 2004). She has a Master of Arts in Applied Theology from Elms College.


Written by Stephen Kingery

Continued from page 1

A sister in Christ and I were recently debatingrepparttar subject of baptism, when she began to feel that I was questioning her sincerity. She told me thatrepparttar 140934 last few months had really been trying for her, and that without prayer she did not feel that she could have made it through her ordeal. She asked me, "Where do you pray?" I told her that I prayed everywhere, that I did not feel that there was any place that I could not whisper a prayer to God. God's word tells us where to pray: A solitary place (Mark 1:35); on your knees (Acts 9:40); in a place of prayer (Acts 16:16); in our closets (Matthew 6:6); and together (Acts 1:14 & 12:5). To say that we should pray in a solitary place or in a closet indicates that we should pray where we can be alone with God, justrepparttar 140935 two of us. This is important for us to be alone with God as we talk with Him, so we can share with Him our innermost thoughts and cares. This also gives usrepparttar 140936 opportunity to tell God how much we love Him, praise Him, and honor Him forrepparttar 140937 blessings we receive. But we should also pray together for blessings that will help our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, individually and collectively asrepparttar 140938 church. To be sure, we can (and do) pray in other positions. However, we should not forget that when we pray we should humble ourselves before God. Getting down on our knees is one way to do this.

Who do we pray for? I'm afraid that all too often our prayers are for what we want or feel that we need. It is important that we make our desires known to God. However, we also need to pray for others and their needs. We should pray for friends (Philemon 1:4); enemies (Matthew 5:44); fellow Christians (Philemon 1:9 & 1 Thessalonians 5:23); for harvesters (Matthew 9:38); for sinning Christians (1 John 5:15,16); forrepparttar 140939 sick (James 5:16); church officers (Acts 6:6 & 14:23); for those in prison (Acts 12:5); and preachers (2 Corinthians 1:11, 8:4, & Ephesians 6:19).

Wouldn't it be great if all Christians had a very active, sincere, fervent, daily prayer life? Just imagine how much better this world would be if all Christians united daily in this kind of prayer. Unfortunately there are hindrances to prayer, and Christians are subject to those hindrances. If we have an un-Christian relationship with others, our prayers are hindered. 1 Peter 3:7-12 speaks torepparttar 140940 relationships we have with others. We should " of one mind, having compassion for one another, love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous..." (1 Peter 3:8a). The opposite of these causes a hindrance to prayer. Having unforgiveness in our heart also serves to hinder our prayers as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:14.

I said earlier that we should not pray for material blessings so we can have our lives more abundant in things ofrepparttar 140941 world. In reality, when we pray this type of prayer, it becomes a hindrance to what we should pray for as well as answers to prayer. "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." (James 4:3). Self-righteousness serves to hinder us in our prayer life, readrepparttar 140942 parable ofrepparttar 140943 Pharisee andrepparttar 140944 Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14. Other hindrances include Satan, lack of fasting, lack or persistence, unbelief, and iniquity inrepparttar 140945 heart.

This has not been an exhaustive study of prayer, for there are more than eighty prayers inrepparttar 140946 Old and New Testaments, as well as countless other references to prayer. However, I have tried to give you and overview of prayer which will teach yourepparttar 140947 basic truths about prayer. Learn to pray to your Heavenly Father. Praise Him, thank Him, glorify Him, and seek His guidance in a daily time of prayer. But most of all love Him with all your heart and soul, and express that love for Him in your prayer life. Does God answer prayer? YES! Remember, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (James 5:16b).

Favorite Scriptures

I have many favorite scriptures that help me make it through this world and live each day in Christ Jesus. Here are just a few.

"for all have sinned and fall short ofrepparttar 140948 glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

"Or do you not know that your body isrepparttar 140949 temple ofrepparttar 140950 Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)

"For I received fromrepparttar 140951 Lord that which I also delivered to You: thatrepparttar 140952 Lord Jesus onrepparttar 140953 same night in which He was betrayed too bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance os Me.' Inrepparttar 140954 same manner He also tookrepparttar 140955 cup after supper, saying, 'This cup isrepparttar 140956 new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'" (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

All scriptures quoted are fromrepparttar 140957 New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Stephen Kingery is an author, preacher, teacher and founder of The Home Bible Study Institute.

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