Nexus Prayer – A Divine Appointment

Nexus Prayer Church Photo | © Copyright Erin Theisen Photograpy | Used with Permission.

 

NEXUS PRAYER – A DIVINE APPOINTMENT

 

Not to be confused with Eastern meditation, TM, Mindfulness, or Centering Prayer, and not associated in any way with so-called New Age theology, Nexus Prayer is a short, simple, and scripture-based method of contemplative prayer. It is easy to learn, and can be used by anyone, anywhere, and anytime by simply praying the first part of Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God” several times a day. As such, it is designed to supplement, not replace one’s regular church attendance, daily devotional time of prayer, and weekly bible study.

Nexus Prayer helps us to better hear the “still, small voice of God” through the stilling of our soul, the quieting of our mind, the letting go of our problems, and the surrendering of our will.”  ~ aaw

Whether done at home, the office, church, or on-the-go, Nexus Prayer helps us carve out the time in our busy schedules to create some quality one-on-one time with God. Think of it as a daily, scheduled divine appointment.

As mentioned previously in other journal posts, in the stillness of Nexus Prayer, our intention is not to talk to, but rather listen to God. (It’s worth noting that the words “listen” and “silent” both contain the same exact letters and identical number of letters.) Nexus Prayer, then, helps us to better hear the “still, small voice of God” I Kings 19:9-13 through …

  • the stilling of our soul
  • the quieting of our mind
  • the letting go of our problems, and
  • the surrendering of our will leading us, ultimately, to an authentic connection to and communion with God.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27

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
Photo credit: “Communion” by Erin Theisen Photography. Used with permission. | Nexus Prayer International

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Be Still … in the Storm

Hurricane_over_Yemen_NASA_ModifiedNXPPhotograph_PublicDomain_viaUnsplashBE STILL … IN THE STORM

January 27, 2017

This post was originally written in response to personal “storms” that occurred to my wife and me in late 2015, and early 2016, that ultimately resulted in the birth of Nexus Prayer.

August 25, 2017
As I write these words, literally at 9:12 p.m., Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane is making landfall at Corpus Christi & Rockport, TX within the hour.  And as I pause for prayer for all those who will be affected by this storm, including residents of Houston over the course of the next seven days, I thought it timely to remind all of us who experience storms of all kinds in our lives that Jesus is in the boat with us.” – aaw

August 27, 2017
Now a tropical storm, “Harvey” is currently hovering over Houston where, in its first full day, has dumped as much as 20 inches of rain in some parts of Houston, with 10 to 15 inches more anticipated in the next several days.  A meteorologist at The National Weather Service has declared Houston’s weather as catastrophic, unprecedented, and of epic (5,000 year event) proportions – the worst flooding in Houston history,  and the worst storm since Hurricane Carla hit Galveston/Houston in 1961. We now return you to your regular programming” …. aaw

BE STILL…IN THE STORM

If you’ve ever been through one of the four T’s: tsunami, typhoon, tidal wave, or tornado, then you know the devastating damage these storms can cause to the four P’s: people, pets, plants, and property.

The single best example here on the Gulf Coast of Texas is the infamous Great Galveston Hurricane that hit September 8, 1900, and left up to 12,000 people dead. It remains to the present day the deadliest single day event in US history.1 And although I was only eight years old at the time, I still remember my momo (grandmother) rushing us to the “safe area” of the laundry room as the Category 5 Hurricane Carla hit Galveston and threatened Houston in 1961, as well as countless other storms throughout the years, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that hit the Gulf Coast within weeks of each other in 2005.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

 

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” by Rembrandt (1633) | Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” by Rembrandt (1633)

Like the disciples in a boat on a stormy lake Mark 4:35-41, we all sail through storms at some point in our lives. And I’m not just talking about the weather.

Whether your heart is literally failing or someone has broken your heart, sooner or later we are all touched by the storms of sickness and shattered relationships. Don’t be afraid!

When your personal bank account is at an all-time low, while your bills are at an all-time high, don’t lose hope! The tropical depression of finance rains on us all, but will eventually leave us a rainbow (even if not with the proverbial pot of gold at the end) when the Son shines through. Matthew 5:45

And when you’ve unexpectedly lost a loved one or even when, as a thief in the night and through no fault of your own, the people in power take away your job, your health insurance, and your retirement benefits – all in one fell swoop – you can still trust in God to take care of your every need. Matthew 6:26 And like Job, our heavenly Father may allow the hurricane force winds of life to test us, even bend us, but never to break us. Job 5:19

Truth be known, life is hard and people will fail you. Political leaders may fail you. Religious leaders may fail you (trust me on this!) Businesses may fail. Health may fail. Relationships and marriages may fail. But, Jesus never fails! And like the disciples in the boat who were afraid of the crashing waves, the deep waters, and their sinking circumstances, we only have to cry out to God for help and He will hear our prayers, see our desperation, and rescue us. “Peace, be still,” says the Lord. Jesus is in the boat!

Even in your deepest, darkest, and most depressing moments when it seems that all the walls of your world are caving in and falling down upon you, do not be afraid! For despite all your fears and flash floods of emotions, you can take solace in the fact that you are not traveling through the ominous-looking clouds, the veil of tears, a wall of water, or the valley of the shadow of death alone. Psalm 23:1-6 Indeed, although the winds of change may be rocking your boat, know this: Jesus is in the boat with you and He has the power to command all the hurricane force winds and tidal waves of your life to be perfectly still. “Peace, be still,” he commands.

Martin Luther experienced more than his fair share of “donner und blitz” in life, but, thanks be to God, he passed through all his storms both safely and soundly. God’s reward to Luther for his faith, hope, vision, and courage? The Reformation.2 Granted, Martin Luther’s trials and tribulations were unique in time and space, but it was his particular and personal storms, inspired by Psalm 46, that led him to compose the classic hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” 3

We’ve considered the trials and tribulations of Job, and know from the plethora of other Old Testament stories of saints, including the lessons of Psalm 46, that God is faithful. Still not convinced? Then look no further than Saint Paul who wrote in II Cor. 11: 24-28 …

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one, three times was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”

Paul’s conclusion?

“… in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Cor. 12:7-10

The eye of Super Typhoon Maysak from the ISS | NASA Photograph in Public Domain via Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia.
The stillest place of a storm – the eye.

Finally, while speaking both metaphorically and meteorologically here, it is worth noting that although the size of the average hurricane can span 100 miles in diameter with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour, the absolute center of the storm, the eye, is almost always relatively clear and calm. How ironic it is, then,  that at the core of arguably the strongest force on earth, God gave us the perfect and scientifically proven example from nature of how he invites us to remain calm in the midst of the storms of our life.  Obviously, God understood this fact clearly when he commanded all to “Be still, and know that I am God” in Psalm 46:10.

Just as the eye of a hurricane is the coolest, calmest, and most collected part of the storm,our “safe room” is to be found at the center of God’s will and presence. And for any of us fearful of our lifeboat capsizing as it takes on water while navigating the tropical storms of life, I know of no place that offers greater comfort or safety than when we enter our prayer closet Matthew 6:6 and find the quietude of God through Nexus Prayer waiting for us there.

Be still, and know that I am God.”– Psalm 46:10

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” – Psalm 46:1-3

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. – Psalm 46:10

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 & REFERENCES

1 The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

2 The Protestant Reformation | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

3 “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther | The Hymn Society – Hymnary.org

4 The Eye of a Cyclone | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia

5 Photo Credit: Hurricane over Yemen | NASA Photograph in Public Domain via Unsplash | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.

6 Photo Credit:“The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” by Rembrandt (1633) | Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

7 Photo Credit: The eye of Super Typhoon Maysak from the ISS | NASA Photograph in Public Domain via Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia.Save

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Praying Resolutely

“2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm| Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash | Nexus Prayer International

LEAPING INTO 2017
Right on the heels of my New Year’s Eve post on The Arithmetic of Prayer, I want to wish everyone a 2017 that is filled with God’s blessings, happiness, love, success, health, meaning, purpose, peace, and … prayer. Happy New Year!

And since it is that time when most of us make our annual New Year resolutions, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Top 10 New Year resolutions made for 2015, with thanks to Statistics Brain for the assist.

TOP TEN NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS OF 2015

1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

That’s the good news. A couple of those are even on my list for 2017, maybe yours too? The not-so-good news, according to Statistics Brain1, is that only 8% percent of Americans were successful in achieving their resolution, and only 46% were successful in maintaining their resolution longer than 6 months. But I noticed an even more alarming fact from reading that list. Did you notice that reading the bible, going to church, drawing closer to God, serving others, and PRAYING MORE did not make the top 10?

RESOLVING TO PRAY MORE IN 2017
It probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that prayer – all types of prayer in general and Nexus Prayer in particular – are at the top of my New Year’s resolutions list. Specifically, and with God’s help, I am asking Him to help me spend more time connecting with Him, my family, my church, and my local community through prayer in 2017. Here’s how …

  • Nexus Prayer – Launching the Nexus Prayer website last September went very smoothly, but there are still quite a few sections that need to be completed. Likewise, so far so good in introducing Nexus Prayer to my “… Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth” Acts 1:8. Local classes, presentations, and starting of Nexus Prayer groups are all planned for 2017. On a personal note, and according to my iPhone prayer timer, last year I connected with God through Nexus Prayer 1,478 times for 366 consecutive days (leap year) with a total duration of 214 hours and 31 minutes. Not bad, but with God’s help I want to do better in 2017. My personal Nexus Prayer goal this year is to pray no less than three times a day for a total of no less than an hour a day. God gives me 24 hours a day; it’s the least I can do.
  • Prayer Wall – The infrastructure for the Nexus Prayer Wall got installed , but still needs more tweaking and beta testing. Until I officially launch it on this website, you are invited to submit your prayer request 24.7.365. It would be my privilege to pray on behalf of you, your family, or friends.
  • Prayerwalking – Last November I conducted the first ever Nexus Prayer Walk for our community (with many more planned.) Since that time, I have continued my regular weekly prayer walks every evening for the individuals and families (represented by their house numbers, cars, and street names) in the neighborhood immediately surrounding our home here in Spring, Texas. I also just completed a study of Randy Sprinkle’s excellent book and six week course on prayer walking entitled Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker. In 2017 I look forward to continuing my prayer walks as often as possible, and both introducing and conducting prayer walk practicums for local groups and churches in our area.
  • Sacred Spaces – For years I have sought out sacred spaces – both indoor and outdoor – to serve as places of retreat for both contemplation and special praying. Starting this year, I will be identifying my finds and hosting public gatherings for nexus prayer at sacred spaces locally, nationally, and internationally. Have a favorite “hiding place” of your own you’d like to recommend? Send me a note.
  • Book on Nexus Prayer – The manuscript of my first book on Nexus Prayer is well under way with a goal of completing it, an eBook, and a “real” book before the end of next year. Thank you in advance for your prayers that God gives me the spiritual insights, wisdom, time, and resources to complete this project on schedule.

I haven’t listed all of my New Year’s resolutions here, just my No. 1 – spend more time with God in prayer – along with a few Nexus Prayer goals. The bottom line for me is that I’m “all in” to do everything that I can to improve my relationship with and better connect to God through prayer in 2017. My daily prayer to God is “Lord, teach me to pray.” Luke 11:1 and to learn how to “pray without ceasing” I Thessalonians 5:17.

My prayer for you? That “more prayer” also makes it into your top ten resolutions this year. Have you made praying more one of your resolutions for 2017? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it. Happy New Year!

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 & REFERENCES

1 “New Year’s Resolutions Statistics– Statistic Brain.” | 2016 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. | Research Date: December 12, 2016 | http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

2 Photo: “2017 Sparkler” by Brigitte Tohm | Used and modified with Permission via Unsplash.

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