Discernment - Ways to Practice - Worship

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they
are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into this world.

— John 4:1

As we look for what to do,

May the strong hand of God be upon our shoulder
guiding, admonishing,

and the wisdom of all eyes be our sight.

May the courage of the martyrs be our inspiration,
pushing us beyond our fear, beyond mere wanting,
May our foolishness for Christ shame worldling wisdom.

May our ears gather up the voice of the Spirit.

May we not take ourselves so seriously
that we neglect to nurture joy in our being together.
Neither may we find cause to fear laying out our hearts.

Root deception out of us.

Convert appetite for power
to hunger for justice.

May our ears gather up the voice of the Spirit.


Lani Wright
Cottage Grove, Oregon

Walk and pray
For centuries, some Christians have prayed while walking on a labyrinth, a circular but winding path that leads into the center and out again.

If you have access to a labyrinth, walk it silently as a group. An Episcopal church in your community or a nearby camp or retreat center might be able to tell you the location of a labyrinth in your vicinity.

If you do not have access to a labyrinth, find another place where everyone can walk in silence-near one another, but with each person going at his or her own pace. For example, you might walk up, down, and around the aisles of your sanctuary, or outdoors around a building or through a park.

As you walk, ask God to make you aware of God's presence as you walk from this place into other places in the coming days. (Plan to repeat this exercise at the conclusion of your study of Way to Live.) Close by singing as a group the African-American spiritual "Guide My Feet."

You can learn more about this form of prayer at http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/index.shtml

Lord, you sometimes speak
"Lord, you sometimes speak in wonders, unmistakable and clear...
Lord, you sometimes speak in whispers, still and small and scarcely heard..."
Text: Christopher Idle
Text copyright (c) 1969 Hope Publishing Co.

Spirit of the Living God, Fall Afresh on Me
Text and music: Daniel Iverson
Text and music copyright (c) 1935, Moody Press

Lead me, Guide me
" Lead me, guide me, along the way;
for if you lead me, I cannot stray."
Text and music: Doris M. Akers

Open my eyes, that I may see
" Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me.
Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear.
Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere.
Open my heart, and let me prepare love with thy children thus to share.
Open my mind, that I may read more of thy love in word and deed."
Text and music: Clara H. Scott

Take, Oh Take me as I am
" Take, oh take me as I am, summon up what I shall be . . . "
John L. Bell, the Iona Community, 1995

back to top

© 2006-2011 The Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith