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Work Of the Week

…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil. 2:12

The Work of the Week is all about grace.  We offer them as a way to open yourself more fully to the deep joy that is ours because of God’s great love for us.

Each WOW is part of a particular series that introduces us to one of the spiritual disciplines.  Each WOW is designed to either stand on its own or build on the week before. They are purposefully made to be easily accessible to anyone.  The more experienced will benefit from reviewing the foundations of the disciplines.

We understand that not every WOW (spiritual discipline) will resonate with you.  That’s okay.  We simply encourage you to try them so you get an idea of what daily “spiritual work” is like. 

Remember that you are loved by God whether you do the WOW or not.  We simply ask that you give this a try.  What ever you are able to do each week will be perfect. 

God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.  ~Richard J. Foster

Series 1 - Rooted in God's Grace

This series centers on the fact that God loves you no matter what.  All of the holy work we do means nothing if we don’t believe and internalize the fact that we are loved by God.  God loves us, and all creation, in spite of our broken humanity and our proclivity towards sin.  We cannot earn God’s love because God’s love is unconditional.  It is true grace!

Remember that whatever you are able to do this week will be perfect.

Week 1

Try for 3 days:  Download and print Ephesians 2:8-10.  Place it where you will see it and read it out loud.

Download Ephesians 2:8-10

     For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Finish by declaring:

I am saved by the grace of God!
I am rooted in God’s grace!

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+   In addition to the WOW, read chapter 2 of Ephesians one day this week.

+   In addition to the WOW, read Ephesians 2 every day this week.

+   Take the WOW with you everywhere: Put this verse in your phone or the card in your wallet or purse then take it out to read a few times throughout the day.

Week 2

Try for 3 days:  Download and print Romans 8:38-39.  Place it where you will see it and read it out loud.

Download Romans 8:38-39

            For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Finish by declaring:

Nothing will stop God from loving me.
I am rooted in God’s grace!

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+ Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+   In addition to the WOW, read chapter 8 of Romans one day this week.

+   In addition to the WOW, read Romans 8 every day this week.

+   Take the WOW with you everywhere: Put this verse in your  phone or the card in your wallet or purse then take it out to read a few times throughout the day.

Week 3

Try for 3 days:  Download and print 1 Timothy 1:15-16.  Place it where you will see it and read it out loud.

Download 1 Timothy 1:15-16

     The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Finish by declaring:

Jesus Christ loves me, a sinner.
I am rooted in God’s grace!

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+ Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+ In addition to the WOW, read chapter 1 of 1 Timothy one day this week.

+ In addition to the WOW, read 1 Timothy 1 every day this week.

+ Take the WOW with you everywhere: Put this verse in your phone or the card in your wallet or purse then take it out to read a few times throughout the day.

Week 4

Try for 3 days:  Download and print Isaiah 43:1.  Place it where you will see it and read it out loud.

Download Isaiah 43:1

     But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

Finish by declaring:

God knows my name and has chosen me!
I am rooted in God’s grace!

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+ Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+ In addition to the WOW, read chapter 43 of Isaiah one day this week.

+ In addition to the WOW, read Isaiah 43 every day this week.

+ Take the WOW with you everywhere: Put this verse in your phone or the card in your wallet or purse then take it out to read a few times throughout the day.

Series 2 - The Available Life

This series introduces us to the practice of daily “reminding” ourselves that Christ works through us and others.  As workers in the Kingdom, our job is pretty simply:  Love our neighbors as our selves.   Thus, each day we consciously make ourselves available to God’s work because we are disciples of Jesus the Christ.

Remember that whatever you are able to do this week will be perfect.

Week 1

Try for 3 days:  Download and print the Welcome Prayer.  Place it where you will see it and pray it.

Welcome Prayer

            Welcome, welcome, welcome. I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing. I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions. I let go of my desire for power and control. I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure. I let go of my desire for survival and security. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person or myself. I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within. Amen. ~ Father Thomas Keating

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+   Continue to read one of the Bible verses from Series 1.

+   Add a prayer that your family/friends will experience God

+ Take the WOW with you everywhere: Put this prayer in your phone or the card in your wallet or purse then take it out to read a few times throughout the day.

Week 2

Try for 3 days: Pray the Lord’s Prayer as the last thing before you go to bed.

           Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested, 

+   Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+   Continue asking God to show you where he is active in your life.

+   Continue to read one of the Bible verses from Series 1.

+   Invite people in your house to pray the Lord’s Prayer with you.

Week 3

Try for 3 days:  Download and print this Prayer.  Place it where you will see it and pray it.

Prayer

          Dear Lord, I pray today that I will yield my spirit completely to You, that You may use me as You please. I pray that You will provide me opportunities to show people how much You mean to me. Give me discretion to know what to say and how to say it. Make me bold enough that I may proclaim salvation cheerfully and joyfully. I pray that the seeds You allow me to plant will grow and mature. I am forever grateful for the cross; may I proclaim it in a contagious way today. Amen.

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try doing the Work of the Week (WOW) every day this week.

+   Try praying the Lord’s Prayer every day this week.

+   Continue asking God to show you where he is active in your life.

+   Continue to read one of the Bible verses from Series 1.

+   Think about what makes it hard for you to see where God is active in your day.

+   Think about how praying the Lord’s Prayer opens you to seeing God’s presence in your life.

Series 3 - The Prayer-Filled Life

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When Paul writes about praying without ceasing, he doesn’t mean going around mumbling prayers all day.  He means that we strive for a life that is in a constant state of prayer just as our lives are in a constant state of grace. This series introduces some prayer practices that may help you on that journey of transformation to a life in constant prayer.

Remember that whatever you are able to do this week will be perfect.

Week 1

Week 1:   Try for 3 days: Pray the Jesus Prayer over and over as you are getting ready in the morning.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try praying the Jesus Prayer every morning this week.

+   Pray the Jesus Prayer at different times during the day.

+   Continue praying one of the prayers from The Available Life series.

+    If you already are doing daily prayer, try increasing your time in prayer.

 

Week 2

Week 2:   Try for 3 days:  Download and print this card. Place it where you will see it.

Luther’s Morning Prayer

            As soon as you get out of bed, make the sign of the cross and say:

            “God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over me. Amen.”

            Then pray:

            I give thanks to you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you completely. For into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen. (Luther’s Morning Prayer)

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try praying this prayer every day this week.

+   Continue to pray the Jesus Prayer throughout the day.

+   Reflect on your day and try to see where you might have pleased God.

+   Make a specific time each day as your “prayer time.”

Week 3

Try for 3 days: Pray this “breathing prayer.”

Slowly inhale saying in your mind, “Thank you, Father.”

Slowly exhale saying in your mind, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Slowly inhale saying in your mind, “Thank you, Holy Spirit.”

Continue doing this until you feel more relaxed and focused.     

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try to do this breathing prayer every day this week.

+   Continue doing Luther’s Morning Prayer

+   Continue with the Lord’s Prayer right before you go to bed.

 

Week 4

Try for 3 days: Offer short prayers of thanks throughout the day. Thank God for everything that happens, that you see, that you hear, etc. no matter how small.

Instead of 3 days a week, as suggested,

+   Try doing these prayers of thanks every day this week.

+   Continue with your silent and daily prayers and/or breathing prayers.

+   Try to find something to thank God for even if the situation is negative.

+   Reflect on your day.  Where did you see God?