Review: Jamie Tyrrell on Prayer

Psalm 1 tells us that the godly person meditates.  There are quite a few references to meditation in the psalms.  Yet, many of us tend to associate meditation with eastern religions and think that we, as Christians, should not meditate.  What is meditation?  What differentiates Christian meditation from other forms of meditation?  Jamie Tyrrell gives his answers to these questions in his youtube video:  Prayer for Busy People, session one.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Iidw41_t0

Jamie is a pastor with expertise in the area of spiritual guidance.  His mission is to help you hear where God is leading you.  In a busy, fast-paced world, I enjoy listening to Jamie teach because he slows things down.  He’s calm and careful.  He gives you time to think between statements.  I feel my breathing and my heartbeat slow down as I spend half an hour under his teaching.  I find myself more able to hear and respond to the Lord’s still, small voice when I’m not running around a million miles an hour.  It’s a much-needed opportunity for my soul to unwind from its tight spool and open myself more to the Holy Spirit.

In Prayer for Busy People, session one, Jamie talks about the difference between Christian meditation and other forms of meditation.  He also examines why it’s important, and how Jesus encouraged His followers to meditate (i.e., to do what Scripture tells us to do), in order to develop a “God-listening heart.”

In one of the most profound segments of this lesson, Jamie helps us consider why and how we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow and how we can trust God and not have to know the answers to everything, so that we can celebrate life.  With today’s many pressures and uncertainties, I found this section especially helpful.  Since it’s so easy for us to get distracted, he includes an exercise and ideas for lengthening the amount of time we can focus on a thought, such as, “Lord, do You love me?”

The second part of the video is one you can quietly listen to as you’re led through a meditation on Psalm 23.  Feel free to pause the video so that you can really ponder the questions and situations that are mentioned.  This could easily be split (and perhaps is meant to be split) into a week’s worth of meditations.  These also make good starter questions for journaling after your time of meditation.  You could likewise spend a little time each day for a week or so, listening to these same questions each day, allowing yourself to find deeper and deeper answers.  However you do it, don’t rush.  Spend at least a week per video.  Relax and enjoy God’s presence.  Listen for His voice.

One bit of advice.  As I listened to this portion, I was aware that the instruction to put both feet on the floor and place your hands palms up on your legs, might be uncomfortable for some people I know, as it sounds similar to eastern forms of meditation.  The point here is not the exact posture, but simply to sit in a relaxed manner, which isn’t going to restrict blood flow and become distractingly uncomfortable.  If another position is better for you, by all mean, adopt that posture.  I personally like to sit with my palms up because it symbolizes to me that I’m opening my grip on the things that are bothering me and giving them to God, and I’m open to accepting whatever God wants to give me.

Jamie’s website, http://prayerforbusypeople.com/ includes meditation questions, resources, and even some sermon ideas for pastors.  It’s definitely worth exploring.  He’s still developing it, so keep that in mind … and here’s an opportunity:  He’s looking for beta-testers, people who would be willing to try out his program, give him input, and share it with others.  Comment below, if you’re interested, and I’ll get you in touch with him.

I’m looking forward to working my way through the series, Prayer for Busy People.  If you can carve some time out to listen to it, I promise it will be worthwhile.  Let me know what you think.

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