Welcome to the devotions for spiritual growth.
Crossroads Church is currently in a weekend series called GROW. Since Bible reading and prayer are the most important practices for spiritual growth, we want to provide a devotional guide for the whole Crossroads family during the series—one that gives you simple, do-able Bible and prayer experiences.
The devotions will be posted here every day for six weeks. It’s good to experience them in order, if possible.
Our GROW theme
This six-week devotional experience is based on the idea that the spiritual life is like a garden or field where God plants seeds in the soil of our life; together, with God, we care for the plants—watering, pruning, gathering, and giving away. Join us for the devos, and you will discover how this works in the real ground of your own life.
Choose a regular place and time for devotions
You might choose an outdoor spot like your patio or a park. Perhaps you have a quiet place in your house, at your office or in a coffee shop you enjoy. Pick a time of day, like early morning, your lunch hour or in the evening after your daily work is done.
Think about this for a minute: if someone tells you, “My whole identity is in Jesus Christ. I experience the grace and presence of God every day, and even though I make mistakes, the Holy Spirit is my guide, my teacher and the comforter of my life,” this same person will also say, “I regularly read the Bible, and I have developed an ongoing conversation with God. I pray every day.”
Choosing, and committing to, a regular time and place for the Bible and prayer in your life is a powerful step to take in your spiritual journey. It’s a power-move. For most Christians, this step is a turning point in their spiritual life, much like deciding to follow Christ and trust him for salvation. If you establish this habit, and if it is motivated by hope and love (not guilt or rule-keeping), God will transform your life.
During these weeks, you will have the opportunity to try different prayer practices. One form of prayer is called common prayer. The idea is that there is power in praying together carefully chosen prayers written by other people for our benefit.
So, since we are beginning this journey together, let’s begin with a common prayer. When you are ready to begin, go to your quiet place and pray aloud:
Spirit of the Living God, throughout these coming days, I ask you to open my heart to discover your presence. Plant seeds of stillness and discernment within me. Help my vision and awareness grow to discover how you are already present in my daily life and the depths of my heart. Water me with gentleness and compassion. Prune away any unnecessary action and hardness of my heart. Allow me to blossom with love for you, my neighbors and myself, and cause me to mature in depth of forgiveness, mercy and deeds for others. I trust you and bless you, and I invite you to transform me into your heart’s desire.
Creator God, you made the world, and desire that I love you with all my heart, mind soul and strength and love my neighbor as myself. Show me how.
Holy Spirit, you are already present in every moment of my daily life. Teach me to discover and appreciate your presence in the people and places I encounter every day.
Jesus my savior, come more fully alive in my life when I surrender to your loving will and design for my life that we create together. Help me to give you permission to transform me into your fellow servant in the world you love. Amen (adapted from a prayer by Pegge Bernecker)
Take the planting supplies we gave out at church this weekend, and sow the seeds according to the instructions. (We will offer these in the atrium throughout the series. If you don’t have them, you can pick them up during business hours or next weekend.) After you have finished this task, read Psalm 1—the passage Pastor Dennis Anderson preached on this weekend.
What are your insights and feelings about the passage after hearing the message this weekend, praying the opening prayer in this introduction and sowing your seeds? What do you hope God will do in your life in the next six weeks? Write your thoughts in your journal, or take time to express them to God aloud or silently.
Now finish this opening time with a spontaneous prayer, thanking God for loving you and being at work in the fertile ground of your life.
[This six-week devotional is based on a daily life retreat by Pegge Bernecker and her book, Your Spiritual Garden: tending to the presence of God. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006.]