Pentecostals and Liturgy
I grew up as a pentecostal, and to be honest with you looked questioningly at groups or churches who had written prayers, followed a prescribed written order in a bulletin, or basically did anything connected to their spirituality that wasn’t free wheeling and spontaneous. Now, however I’m not so sure!
Research is telling us that only 5 percent of our behaviours are consciously self-directed while 95 percent of our behaviour arises either automatically or reactionary. “We are creatures of habit.” (Resilient Ministry: Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman and Donald C. Guthrie, IVP Books p 40)
So, now I want to ask myself what kind of spiritual habits have I developed that are automatic and simply kick in without notice? I now think it becomes imperative in our spiritual journeys that we train ourselves, force ourselves, or in some way routine ourselves in spiritual activities.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (WEB) 24 Don't you know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run like that, that you may win. Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore run like that, as not uncertainly. I fight like that, as not beating the air, but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
Why I now use liturgies?
- I use liturgies because they are easy. I don’t have to think hard. I don’t have to always be creative and spontaneous. I can simply read. I can recite.
- I use liturgies because they allow me to glean from the spiritual journeys of others. I’m smart enough to know I’m not smart enough! God is doing wonderful things in other people’s journeys that will help me on my journey.
- I use liturgies because they help me infiltrate more of my day with Jesus. So If I train myself to do certain acts of spirituality at certain parts of the day… I connect more often with Jesus. This helps me stay more in what some call consolation (as opposed to desolation) [definitions: Consolation—walking in God’s light in God’s way. Desolation—walking in my light in my way]
- I use liturgies because some of my friends over the years who have used them are beacons of spirituality to me. Their Jesus light is shining brightly. There appears to be no adverse effect on them for using liturgy.
- I use liturgies to train my brain… and keep training it. I’ve been told your brain is a muscle and reading new things, learning new things keeps that muscle alive and growing.
What kind of liturgies do I use?
- Prayer books of all kinds.
- Meditation cards.
- Icons: crosses, star of David, Jewish tzitzit, art work, sculptures.
- Kneeling, laying prostrate.
- Praying the offices. (see blog:https://pwcusick.blogspot.com/2020/04/praying-officesthe-divine-hours.html)
- Memorized Breath prayers.
Short story—-try them… you might like them!