TESTIMONIALS FOR SMPL
Study. Meditate. Pray. Live.
(Formerly the Prayer of Recollection)
ONE WORD: LIFE-CHANGING!
What can I say about my prayer of recollection experience? One word – life-changing! This spiritual discipline has been an absolute game changer in my relationship with Jesus. I had grown weary of stale Bible studies that only engaged my mind but not my heart. In the prayer of recollection, you have an encounter with Jesus every day as you immerse yourself in Scripture. As you read through a book in the Bible, the scenes come alive to your senses. You will be surprised at how powerfully Jesus speaks to you, often in ways you didn’t expect. As I journeyed daily with my fellow group members, I’ve been so grateful for their prayers, support, and insights into what they’re learning. It has been a joy. But most importantly, I have come out of this prayer of recollection experience more in love with Jesus and feeling immensely loved and delighted in by the King of Kings. Please consider jumping into a prayer of recollection group…you will never regret it!
INTERACT WITH JESUS ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL
Prayer of recollection has been a rewarding experience. It has taught me to read slowly, listen to God more, and know and interact with Jesus on a more personal level. Besides the great spiritual practice and growth, POR small groups connected me to other people in a way not replicated through individual study and meditation. Many smiles, laughs, and vulnerabilities had led us all to growth, as iron sharpened iron. I'm truly grateful for being asked to join POR and I highly encourage others to join as well.
IT IS INSANE THAT WHEN YOU DRAW NEAR TO GOD HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU
Starting the spiritual practice of the prayer of recollection has been transformative! Meditating on small pieces of scripture daily has been so satisfying and has positively impacted my relationship with Jesus and even how I respond to everyday and larger stressors in life. When hard circumstances come up, I can completely re-frame my thoughts and responses. I feel like I can be a better wife, mom, friend, daughter, and employee. I think it is insane that when you draw near to God he will draw near to you. This is proving to be more and more and more true. In times of anxiety, anger, and fear, I am able to hear God’s heart better, more accurately. I don’t sit in my own thoughts for as long as I used to. My quiet time has been FILLED with the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, my relationship with Jesus is closer, my love for scripture is deeper, I feel like I know Jesus better and have felt more grace, love, and mercy in the weeks that I have been practicing POR. I am loving it and I don’t want it to end. This is a practice that I plan to continue and share.
I FOUND MYSELF DISTRACTED WITH THOUGHTS OF JESUS
Although the practice of prayer recollection requires 30 minutes a day 6 days a week, it can feel overwhelming for those who are not already spending daily time with Jesus. It felt overwhelming for me. After a couple of weeks, I was forced to take inventory of what I was making space for in my life and evaluate how that mirrored my values (or didn’t). It became obvious that during the day, pockets of time were filled with social media and television. The same was true for the evenings. This space I dedicated to social media and television amounted to hours. Once I made the decision to eliminate a major occupier of space in my life (social media), I found myself distracted with thoughts of Jesus and His life rather than what food truck would be in town this week. I am feeling more connected to scripture, spending time understanding His word rather than reading the words alone has been such a blessing. Prior to this experience I was mostly frustrated in prayer and spending time in scripture. I also often felt I wasn’t smart enough to read the Bible and comprehend what I was reading. Now I feel equipped to read it, work through it, meditate on the word, and seek what God is speaking to me through it.
MY HEART IS CHANGING SLOWLY BUT SURELY
The deeper I dove into the Gospel of Mark with the prayer of recollection, the more I realized that FEAR was my great separator from complete connection with God. As a dad of 3 young adults, I wrestle constantly with the fear of letting my children go into the world and make the same mistakes I did and do. As a privileged citizen on earth, I fear not having enough stuff or money for retirement, etc. As someone who is trying to step up in some serving roles around the church, I fear failure big time and it slows my efforts. I am finding lately though, that my heart is changing slowly but surely during this POR journey and that my fear of separation from Jesus is taking precedence over these other fears. I'm still a work in progress and I suspect I will always be, but this work and the prayers of my group members are changing me.
NOW I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT THAT THE BIBLE IS TRUE
I feel more peaceful and stable. You don’t realize that you don’t really believe in God until you start thinking about it. It never felt real to me before. Now I feel very confident that the Bible is true.
HIS POWER LIVES IN ME
If there’s a day that I missed practicing the prayer of recollection, I could tell you that on those days the challenges that I battle with so much and lack of peace were apparent to me. I also resonated with connecting to Jesus’ humanity more than I ever have before. His humanity through all the experiences was really convicting because before I was like “Well Jesus can do this because he’s JESUS.” But I see now that he felt the pain in his life too, and that his power lives in me.
THE THING I ALWAYS KNEW I NEEDED BUT NEVER ACTUALLY DID
Prayer of recollection is the thing I always knew I needed but I never actually did it. So once I started doing it, I was not surprised to learn that it had the profound effect it did because I always knew it would. Stop putting it off. This is the kind of life Jesus wanted us to lead (or at least it's a VERY good step in the right direction). At its core, prayer of recollection is a power couple of Scripture and prayer. As I have been faithful in this practice (and believe me, I have noticed when I have not been) God has been faithful to transform my life. Reality feels different. No, it's not always profound. I have yet to see a change in my unhealthy eating habits. My kids still frustrate me. I am, however, finding myself less angry, less offend-able, more purposeful, less alone, more secure, less worried, and freer to delight in others. God is actively shaping my perspectives. He has shown me really important things (like what? Well, like how in love with my own sin I am, and how pervasive my sin really is. Why is this a gift? Because you can't live in the freedom of Christ unless you fully understand that He is your ONLY hope.), and He has expanded my love for Him and for others. As Christians we are supposed to be living in step with the Spirit, and this has been a vehicle to connect with that Spirit. He has given me to a beautiful community of broken sinners trying to seek first the kingdom of heaven, and He has been adding ALL.