Spiritual Amnesia

Spiritual Amnesia

Spiritual AmnesiaSpiritual amnesia is one of the great dangers on our faith journeys. Forgetfulness of God’s goodness pushes us easily into a downward spiral towards spiritual emptiness. This happened time and time again for the Israelites on the wilderness. And it happens to us if we forget God’s graceful ways, either in the biblical history or in our personal history.

How could we avoid spiritual amnesia?

Spiritual disciplines have always been ways of keeping spiritual amnesia away. The most common ones are prayer, worship, Scripture reading. These are habits that anchor ourselves into God’s presence. But there are other – a bit more uncommon – spiritual habits that are very meaningful in my daily walk with God. They help me to surrender to God’s will, embrace God’s grace for my strength, and bask in God’s presence. All needed for grace-empowered Christian living.

1) Meditative Prayer Walk

I prefer to do this in the morning but any time of day is fine. I have done this together with my husband before our children were born, nowadays I slip away quietly before the rest of the family wakes up (or whenever I find time). If you do this in a group, you need to establish one rule: no talking.

“But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
   who can’t see where they’re going.
I’ll be a personal guide to them,
   directing them through unknown country.
I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
   make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
   sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.
(Isaiah 42:16, MSG)

The purpose of prayer walk is to enter into God’s presence while walking. It’s the very first thing I do in the morning and it is my way to start the day right by praying and listening to God. I greet God with ‘Good morning, Daddy! What do you have for me today?’ I ask God to guide me and enable me to use my time wisely. Also, I count my blessings, pour out my concerns but mostly I just listen. It is not time to think, it is time to be in God’s presence. If necessary I quiet my mind by meditating a Bible verse or a name of God.

 Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” (Isaiah 30:21, MSG)

Prayer walk is about embracing the rhythms of grace for my life, surrendering my plans, my ego, my agenda to God.
Mostly, prayer walk is about basking in his grace.

2) Spiritual Journaling

This is a very practical way to make sure that we don’t forget God’s goodness. When in drought we can go back to see how God has worked in our lives before. Then it is easier to trust that God will always take care of us even if we don’t feel his presence.

“I will always show you where to go.
   I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places.”
(Isaiah 58:11, MSG)

I try do this every day so I won’t forget what I have prayed and what God has been talking to me. When I journal, I write down my prayers and any responses I hear from God. It is important to document the prayer answers, too. Even if they seem relatively insignificant. Don’t rationalize them away, just let them be there. Sometimes prayer answers come quickly, sometimes it takes years before we see anything happening. It might take decades to see some divine planning to come in full view.

It’s God’s Spirit in a person,
   the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible.
   (Job 32:8, MSG)

Spiritual journaling is about entering into the history of God but communing with him here and now. Blessedly, spiritual journaling keeps spiritual amnesia at bay.


Gracious God,
We need you to breath life into us,
to pour out grace upon grace on us,
to guide us clearly,
to empower us to walk closely to you,
to revive us,
restore us,
renew us.
Come and be our everything.
Fill us with your Spirit.
Live through us,
love through us,
reach out through us.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: How do you keep spiritual amnesia at bay?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you find your ways to nourish your soul in God’s presence!

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and#tellhisstory.

6 thoughts on “Spiritual Amnesia

  1. Forgetfulness is one of the great shortcomings of humanity. How many times in the OT does it say that Israel “forgot” the Lord and all that he had done for them?? And we are no better, are we? I hear people in difficulty say all the time… “if the Lord loved me, he would do thus and so” completely forgetting about the overwhelming demonstration of His love that he gave us in the death of His son! (Rom 5:8) So I agree… we need to be overt in training ourselves to remember the things He has done for us… beginning with the cross… and keep them always before us! Thanks!

  2. Some of my favorite memories are walks I take with God – and his presence is so keenly felt as we walk side by side, talking!

  3. Mari-Anna, I really liked the warm and personal quality of this post, and the direction it gives. I never tried to make a practice of meditative prayer walking, but maybe I should. Many times when I just “go for a walk” alone on this country property, I find myself in prayer, and re-enter the house refreshed spiritually as well as physically. As for the spiritual journaling, I don’t think I’d get on well without it. Though I couldn’t easily record all my prayer requests, i find it so true that keeping an account of God’s guidance and working in my days serves me well later in times of drought–or doubt–to remind me of His grace and active involvement in my life, and in others’ through my prayers.

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