Inviting You Deeper: Remaining with Jesus

March 29, 2020

This week my team member, Charlotte Phillips, continues to share her heart focusing on how to remain with Jesus in prayer as everything is changing. 

To be honest I was still pretty stressed last weekAt some point mid-week, I realized my prayer life had been disrupted by this novel virus. I also realized that while I love my husband and children dearly, we had spent almost every moment together since that previous Friday afternoon. Every moment. 

Not only did the introverted side of me need some time alonealso realized I needed my time alone with God to breathe, to feel God’s loving embrace. As we were getting the kids ready for bed, I told my husband I needed some time alone. I needed my prayer time. He of course had no problem with this and stayed in our bedroom to give me time and space 

After we completed our nightly family bedtime ritual, I grabbed my Give Us This DayBible, and computer (to journal) and went into our living room. For an hour, I left all my worries and concerns about what will happen and spent time with God in prayer. I read the passage from Matthew that I mentioned last week repeatedly. I cried out to God. And at the end of my prayer time a new feeling consumed me – I felt peace. I felt peace knowing we are not in this alone – God is ALWAYS with us.  

The next morning after this powerful prayer experience, I woke up and reality hit again. We were still homeschooling” and social distancing, and I felt myself going back to the worry, going back to the stress. I closed my eyes and breathed. I remembered we are not alone, and I remembered the deep peace I felt the night before. I didn’t want this peace to leave. I knew I had to figure out a new prayer routineI knew I needed to make time to go to my inner chapel every day to spend time with God in prayer. So I did. 

Before COVID-19, my prayer time was during lunch on the days all the kids go to school, or after they go to bed on the days they are home. My new prayer routine is every day after lunch, I sit in the rocking chair in the boys’ room while our two-year-old falls asleep. Instead of reading a children’s book, I read the daily readings and reflections from Give Us This Day out loud until he falls asleep, then I continue to spend time with God in prayer.  

Checking Our Prayer Time 

Maybe you are having to figure out a new prayer routine, too. How are you making time for God in prayer each day? Take a minute and notice… has your prayer routine changed due to the impact of COVID-19? Is there anything you need to change/adjust in your prayer routine? Do you need to ask your loved ones for time to be with God? 

Although this is a difficult time for all of us, I encourage you to not lose hope. GOD IS WITH US. With God’s help we will make it through this uncertain time. God is ALWAYS ready to listen to our prayers. Jeremiah 29:12-13 tells us,

When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me. 

While our lives may be turned upside down, we can still go to our inner chapel daily and spend time with God. We can find peace in knowing that even though everything around us may be changing, God’s presence in our lives remains the same. 

As the days and weeks of uncertainty continue, let us not be overcome by fear. Let us instead go to God in prayer. Because with God we can overcome our fears. God can give us peace in the uncertainty. Even if you cannot put words to all the emotions and feelings welling up inside, God still hears our prayer, God knows our heart. St. Paul reminds us 

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27).   

God knows we are hurting. God knows we are scared. But God is not going to abandon us. We are NOT alone. God is with us. 

Go Deeper?

  • As you review your prayer life, you might want to re-evaluate your Spiritual Plan. Use the Creating a Spiritual Plan worksheet to help you out. This handout on Creating a Prayer Practice might also be helpful.
  • Visit my Spiritual Support webpage with links and resources during this unprecedented time of COVID-19.
  • Follow me on Facebook & Instagram for daily scripture inspiration and for the latest resources!
  • Please continue to email me resources you are using or coming across so we can continue to compile them and share them for others’ to use.

Join Me, Virtually!

  • Making Hope Real LIVE Virtual Retreat: March 31 or April 1
    With the reality of what we are facing in our lives, what others are facing around us, and what our world is facing together, how can we continue to have hope?
    In this live virtual retreat, I’ll show you how to make hope real, even when this season of life feels anything but hopeful.Offered Two Different Times:
    Tuesday, March 31 from 9 am – 12:30 pm CT OR Wednesday, April 1, 6 pm – 9:30 pm CT
    Featuring guided prayer, three 30-minute talks live from Becky Eldredge, small group discussion, handouts and resources, and time for silent reflection. Just like on my in-person retreats, there will be a mix of presentations and guided prayer via Zoom, and times for silent reflection (away from the computer) with prayer guides and resources. This will be a pay what you are able offering. Read more here about the retreat and why I’m leading it. Here’s the direct link to register. Please share this with friends! 
  • Prayer Tool Tuesday – Each Tuesday at 4:30 pm Central via Zoom – Gather with my dear friend Stephanie Clouatre Davis and I this week, March 31st, to break open scripture using a centuries old prayer tool, Lectio Divina.
  • Wanting a directed retreat? Wanting more prayer support during this time? The retreat directors from the Online Busy Person’s Retreat are happy to extend the invitation of an online busy person’s retreat on your schedule – meeting online with a spiritual director for one hour a day for four-days. If interested, email info@beckyeldredge.com with the four days and timeframe you have available and we will work to match you with a director.

The Inner Chapel: My New Book!

  •  My new book is coming out April 13. As a sincere “Thank You!” to all of you for your support, my publisher has extended a 30% off code for orders and preorders through August 13. Simply go to Loyolapress.com/innerchapel and use promo code 5207.

With experience in youth ministry, campus ministry, faith formation, and as a high school theology teacher, Charlotte has worked in numerous parishes and schools along the Gulf Coast and in the Diocese of Rockford. She holds a B.A. in Theology and Master of Pastoral Studies from Spring Hill College. Charlotte and her husband live in New Orleans with their four young children, where she enjoys Ignatian Spirituality, reading, listening to live music, and bike riding with her family.

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