Luke J. Wilson | 31st December 2016 |
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead!I say “minor” because there’s no plot points given away here, I’m just discussing an aspect of a character in the film, but I know some people (like me) don’t like to hear too much of anything before they see a film!
If you have seen the new Rogue One film though, you will be familiar with a guy called Chirrut Imwe. Whenever he is seen on screen, you will find him repeating a short mantra: “I am one with the Force; the Force is with me” whenever he feels threatened or in times of peril and wants protection. Now, Chirrut is not a Jedi (apparently [actual spoilers in this link]), but is a Force-sensitive “warrior monk” according to his Wiki (even though his skills displayed in the film looking very Jedi-like!).
Despite not being in the ‘Jedi club’, this character shows a strong dedication to his faith in The Force and his belief for its protection and power in his life, even in those times where he had good reason to doubt, and was even actively encouraged to do so by his companions! But instead of thinking the Force had failed him, it strengthened his resolve and made him ‘pray’ all the more in faith and trust that everything would be fine and that they’d be safe.
Chirrut Imwe not being a Jedi – via GIPHY
I am one with the Force; the Force is with me
It was this that prompted me to write this blog. I couldn’t help but see the parallels in his ‘faith’ and ‘prayer’ to how our life as Christians ought to be concerning the work of the Spirit in and through us. I found this encouraging and it reminded me of an ancient Christian mantra-like prayer which is still prayed today in certain places and Church branches. This is the Jesus Prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner"
This prayer is short and repetitive much like the Star Wars Force prayer, and was also first introduced by a monk (though a hermit monk rather than a warrior monk!). From the history of t...
Luke J. Wilson | 09th February 2016 |
In the quiet, still silence, I await my God.
There seems to be some misgivings about the idea of “contemplative prayer” (also referred to as Christian Meditation) and in some of the descriptions I've read, I would agree that it can seem iffy.
Contemplation, or sometimes known as Lectio Divina, is in its most basic form, the idea and practice of waiting on the Lord. Often in silence or while you ponder on scripture or when you seek an answer or just to rest in his presence and have your strength renewed.
There are some people who think that this means “emptying your mind” and doing something akin to occultism, and opening yourself up to demons and deception. While I'm sure some websites or institutions may teach this, I would say that is not the true essence of this ancient practice.
Read; meditate; pray; contemplate
I would never defend, nor advocate, any practice of emptying your mind, as this would be contrary to Scripture. What the bible repeatedly states is that we should be filling our minds with the things of God and scripture; focussing purely on God!
So let's take a look at the three basic tenets of this type of praying: silence, waiting, and meditating.
Being silent before the Lord is not an unbiblical position. Nor is finding some quiet alone time with yourself and God. In fact, this is what Jesus instructed (and did: Luke 5:16)!
Matthew 6:6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;from him comes my salvation.
Psalms 62:5For God alone my soul waits in silence,for my hope is from him.
Isaiah 41:1Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;let the peoples renew their strength;let them approach, then let them speak;let us together draw near for judgment.
Let us not forget that the voice of G...