Spirits, Saints, & Souls on All Hallows’ Eve

Spirits Among Us on All Hallows' Eve | Photo by Jessie Bowser used with permission via Splash.

Two souls walking among us on All Hallows’ Eve

Spirits, Saints, & Souls

All Hallows’ Eve | October 31, 2016

Boo!

Tonight is Halloween where all across the world people will be attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, sharing scary stories, lighting bonfires, bobbing for apples, visiting “haunted houses”, and watching horror films. (News reports today indicate that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump costumes are trending this year.) Meanwhile, candy-craving “little monsters” (with apologies to Lady Gaga) dressed as puppy dogs, princesses, super heroes, ghosts, goblins, and witches will all be swarming countless neighborhoods, ringing doorbells, and saying “trick or treat?” So, what does any of this have to do with Nexus Prayer? Read on.

NEXUS PRAYER & HALLOWEEN
Before commenting on and providing a brief history of Halloween and Allhallowtide from a Christian perspective, please allow me to share a few ways I believe we can all benefit from practicing Nexus Prayer on All Hallows’ Eve…

First, through Nexus Prayer, we are connecting to and communing with God (Elohim) – the Creator of the universe; the Creator of light. Light and darkness are often used as metaphors for good and evil in the bible. On Halloween, a night that society often associates with evil and darkness, it’s worth remembering that not only did our God create light Genesis 1:4-5, but He is Light! “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. And although it is true that Satan can disguise himself in the world as an “Angel of Light” II Corinthians 11:14 he has no dominion over us as Christians. Light1 always dispels darkness, and that is especially true when we are connected to God through Nexus Prayer.

Secondly, there is a Martin Luther connection to both Nexus Prayer and Halloween. Psalm 46, which includes “Be still, and know that I am God” (v10) – the foundation of Nexus Prayer – begins with “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It is this verse that inspired Martin Luther to compose his (arguably) most popular hymn: “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress is our God.) Interestingly, October 31 (1517) is also the day that some believe Martin Luther defiantly nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. Consequently, October 31st is also a day celebrated by many Protestants as Reformation Day, paying homage to Martin Luther.

Lastly, being still, silent, and just “be-ing” with God create the foundation of Nexus Prayer. This stands in stark contrast to the merry-making, partying, and trick-or-treating of Halloween. And as some on October 31st intentionally seek out the dark side, attempt to channel evil spirits, and connect with the dead through séances, Oiuja boards, and such like, we can find solace and comfort in connecting our human spirit to God’s Holy Spirit through Nexus Prayer.

Now, as promised, here is a primer on all things Halloween.

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Jeopardy Answer: What is Nexus Prayer?

Intersection Photo by Denys Nevozhai | Used with Permission | Nexus Prayer International

WHAT IS NEXUS PRAYER?

So, what exactly is a nexus? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this photo of a metropolitan interchange does a pretty good job of illustrating it.

The interstate “clover leaf” in the center of the photo1 shows the nexus, or connection, of all the major highways feeding into the heart of the city. But, let’s take an even closer look as “nexus” applies to the human “heart”…

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3

Morphed over time, “nexus” is originally derived from the Latin words “nectere” (to bind or tie), then later “nex” (bound), and finally “nexus” (a binding together. Psalm 147:3 The word “nexus” did not enter the English lexicon until the 17th century.  It literally means to connect, link, bind, or bond together, and refers to the central or most important place, as in a hub, center, or junction.2

In the context of Nexus Prayer,  nexus refers to the inner most place of our soul where our spirit intersects with, or is conjoined to God’s Holy Spirit. And founded upon the scripture, “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10, Nexus Prayer is the contemplative Christian prayer practice of connecting our human spirit to God’s Spirit through:

  • the stilling of our soul
  • the quieting of our mind
  • the letting go of our problems and
  • the surrendering of our will

Ultimately then, Nexus Prayer is the daily praying of Psalm 46:10 that leads us to an authentic communion with God in real time and space. To borrow from Francis Schaffer’s writings, we are in fact communing with “The God Who Is There” with the intention and understanding that “He is There and He is Not Silent.”3

Ready to begin? Nexus Prayer can be done in as little as 5 minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

Notes & Credits
1 Photo Credit: Original “Intersection” photograph by Denys Nevozhai via Unsplash.
Modified use with permission | Nexus Prayer International

2 Nexus – Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

3 Francis August Schaeffer (1912-1984) – Christian Philosopher and Theologian. Author of the trilogy: “Escape from Reason”, “The God Who is There”, and “He is There and He is Not Silent.”

It’s All in the Cards – Part 1

Nexus Prayer "Business" Card (Front)

Nexus Prayer “Business” Card (Front)

To the casual observer, the design choices I made when creating the Nexus Prayer “Business” Card may appear odd to some. (Truth be told, I actually designed at least half a dozen other cards before finally deciding on this one.) So, what does a landscape photograph of a barn in Nebraska and an empty old chair sitting in an open field have to do with prayer, ministry, or even God? I’m glad you asked!

For me, both the front and back sides of the card are chock-full of Christian symbolism, but especially the front that features the beautiful pastoral scene captured by photographer, Erin Theisen. But before sharing my own personal thoughts below, I invite you to take a few minutes and reflect on the card (shown) for yourself. Recognizing that “Beauty”, as Margaret Wolfe Hungerford once wrote, “is in the eye of the beholder”, what does the card “say” to you? I’d love for you to share your insights at the end of this post.

So, without further ado, here are my top insights for the FRONT of the card …


GOD’S CREATION
The name in the ancient Hebrew used for “God” in Psalm 46:10 is “Elohim” and means “Creator.” Genesis 1:1-2:3. In short, God created everything – the heavens, the earth, and all mankind. Indeed, God is even revealed through his creation Romans 1:20-21. And just as God was close to Adam and Eve as he “walked” with them in the Garden of Eden Genesis 3:8, and as Jesus walked and talked with his family and disciples everywhere he went during his approximately thirty-three years here on earth Luke 3:23, I also feel closest to God when I am surrounded by nature. Whether standing on a mountain peak high above the clouds in Switzerland where I feel I can almost reach out and touch the face of God; taking long, evening prayer walks with only God, the moon, the stars, and the wind as my companions; or following a trail in a local park or even sitting in my own backyard; I have always felt closer to God when alone with him in His creation.

THE HEAVENS
The beautiful sunset reminds me that “The heavens declare the glory of God” Psalms 19:1-6, and that among the three heavens II Corinthians 12:2-4, the one that matters most is the one where God dwells and is waiting for me – every true believer – to one day join him there. Also, the rising and setting of the sun is a daily reminder to me that God’s name is to be praised Psalm 113:3, and is also a vivid symbol of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, “…the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16.

THE GOSPEL
The birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, or the gospel as it is partially referred to in I Corinthians 15:3-4 may all be found in Erin’s photograph. First, like the corn crib (or barn) featured in the image, the Savior of the world was also born in a stable, and laid in a manger Luke 2:7. Secondly, among the many metaphors Jesus used when speaking of himself was “the Door.” The wide open barn door brings to mind the words of Jesus: “I am the door. If any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9-10.

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The Genesis of Nexus Prayer: GOD

Floating Leaves Photograph by Robert Wnuk via Unsplash | Public Domain | Used with Permission | Nexus Prayer International

So, it seems only appropriate as I begin my series of regular weekly posts on Nexus Prayer and Psalm 46:10 that I begin, well, in the beginning…

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

Everything … you, me, even stillness begins (and ends) with God.

The word, “God”, used in both Genesis 1:1 and Psalm 46:10 in the ancient Hebrew language is “Elohim”, meaning “Creator”, and is the first name for God revealed in the Tanakh.1 The name “Elohim” found in the very first verse of the Bible is also the plural form of “El” in the original Hebrew language. This is the first biblical reference for the Christian doctrine of the triune Godhead or Trinity.2

So, Nexus Prayer begins with God, our Creator. It is to him that we pray, in him through our stillness that we have the knowledge of God, and with him that we may hear his still, small voice. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” Acts 17:28

Why not take a moment to gently recite Psalm 46:10? I’ll join you right now, and so will God.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Ready to begin? Nexus Prayer can be done in as little as 5 minutes a day and The Steps are easy to learn. Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime!

NOTES & CREDITS

1 The Tanakh is the canonical collection of Jewish texts that comprise the Hebrew Bible, as well as the Christian Old Testament. | Source: Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia.

2 Elohim” and the Doctrine of the Trinity | Source: John J. Parsons | Hebrew for Christians.

3 Photo Credit: Original “Floating Leaves” Photograph by Robert Wnuk via Unsplash |  Modified with Permission | Nexus Prayer International Save

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