I’m in the midst of creating a quiet prayer space for our church’s Lenten Wednesday evening services. Each Wednesday during Lent the sanctuary will house a few prayer stations for people to visit, as God leads them. I’m in charge of finding/creating and setting up the stations. We did the same thing last year and found that God can use simple tools like the stations to speak directly to people…seems He wants as much again this year.
So, as I swim in contemplative prayer station websites and listen, listen, listen to what He desires, I feel led to share some of these stations with you in the coming weeks. One of the stations we’ll have this week (spoiler for my church family, here) is one entitled Jealousy and Candy (compliments of http://www.creativeprayer.com/). At the door, attendees to the worship service will get candy bars, most of which will be small, bite sized ones. Some will get normal sized ones and someone will get an extra large candy bar. All will be handed out randomly with the explanation (to anyone that asks) that we just wanted to give everyone a little something tonight.
If they visit the prayer station, the candy bar will take on new meaning for they’ll encounter these instructions:
Do you wish you had someone else’s clothes? House? Car? iPhone?
Are you envious of someone else’s marriage? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Relationship with family?
Are you jealous of someone else’s faith in God? Their spiritual gift? Their talents?
If you answered YES to any of these or can think of something not on the list that you envy, don’t go anywhere!
Take time to tell God about your jealousy and ask that He forgive you and make you into a person of contentment instead.
So, does this resonate with you at all? In our “keeping up with the Joneses” society, does it all start with wanting the ‘more’ or the ‘better’ that someone else has? By envying another, do we feed dark entities? Say, dark entities that are jealous for our very soul? Does our jealously feed their jealousy which feeds our jealousy which feeds their jealousy, and so on? What is the end of this cycle? We are consumed and controlled–utterly at the mercy of those dark entities. Freedom, light and love are non-existent, we slave away willingly for that which seeks our destruction.
At the station certain quotes and scripture passages will be posted here and there. I leave you with these:
but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
-Jesus in Mark 4:19
And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:3
(Contemplate prayer update: yesterday I spent about 1 1/2 hours in contemplation. God was screaming in my ear to do it, so I did. He came and cleared the noise and clutter in my head…I’m so grateful! He is so good!!)