Thirty years ago I lived and worked in London with several other men. We were involved in campus ministry and the charismatic renewal. One housemate—let’s call him Tom—spent a couple hours in discussion with Rev. John Stott. When Tom returned from his visit, he was incredulous.
During Tom’s meeting, they discussed prayer. Stott claimed that his most significant times of prayer involve prayerful reflection with God. As a charismatic, Tom preferred exuberant worship with contemporary songs and praying in the Spirit.
We considered Stott’s “prayer” of reflection to be too intellectual, too shallow, too unenlightened, and perhaps unspiritual. We chuckled.
In fact, I’d say we snickered.
By the end of his life, Time Magazine identified Stott as one of the 100 most influential people in the world; he had written over 50 books; and he had helped hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of people. And we twenty-something neophytes snickered at his shallowness.
Thirty years later, I’m rethinking spiritual reflection, and I’m finding it rich. Stott was oh-so-very right, and I—once again—was oh-so-very wrong. Spiritual reflection is one of the deepest ways to connect with God that I’ve ever experienced.
I love to brainstorm, to whiteboard ideas, and to creatively go after innovative thoughts. I love doing this with friends for practical decisions, so I tried it with God.
I find I love it. Spiritual reflection is moving me closer to God, and I’m hearing his voice. Continue Reading…