When it comes to the provisions of God, the problem is not that they aren’t there, but that we often don’t see what is all around us.
That was the thrust of my sermon on Sunday. When God sent ‘manna’ every day to the children of Israel, they didn’t recognize it as a blessing. In fact, the name, ‘manna’ translates as “What’s this?!” The provisions of God surrounded them every day, but it took some practice to recognize and know how to use it.
The lessons that seem so obvious, still need to be learned today. To help us learn to recognize and respond to the provisions of God, we handed out a simple tool- a notebook with some simple instructions. The notebook is easily carried in a pocket or purse and is used to jot down the provisions of God as you recognize them. It’s hard to believe something so “simple” can be so powerful. Here is how it works:
The instructions inside the book are called a “Manna Prayer” and it is a way to recognize the ‘manna’ that is provided daily (even if we don’t know what to do with it at first.)
1. Be still and experience the presence of God
Take some deep breaths
Open your hands
2. Review the Provisions of God
Five that are fairly obvious
Five that are not-so-obvious
3. Claim & Celebrate Provisions
“Thank you God for…”
4. Reflect on Responses that Disconnected You
“Forgive me, for…”
5. Consider the Upcoming Day
“God, you are my dwelling place, help me with…”
On a weekly basis, review what you have discovered
This is the abbreviated version, if you’d like the full-page explanation that was put together by GEST (our Growing in Everyday Spirituality Team), you can see/print it here.
We will have more of the pocket journals available this Sunday, but you don’t have to wait until then to start. It is just a tool and there are several other options that help accomplish the same thing:
Many people already have their own journal and this practice can be easily incorporated into that practice.
Another option is a humble 3x5 card. Each day, put it in your pocket and jot your notes. At the end of the week, gather your cards together and look for themes and patterns.
There are many note apps that can be used to do the same thing. I suggest using one that allows you to email the list at the end of the day so you can start fresh the next day.
You get the idea. Whichever tool you choose, the important thing is to start. Are you finding the ‘bread’ that is all around you? Once you begin noticing the provisions of God, it will be hard NOT to see them!