Being Still Amid the Distractions and Downtime (Ep. 75 + Transcript)
Interview with Brian Heasley (of 24-7 Prayer)
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DESCRIPTION (Transcript Below)
Scripture tells us, “Be still and know that I am God”. But for so many of us, this is so hard. Today’s episode explores downtime, devotions, and distractions as we seek to be with God in our private and public lives.
Our guest, Brian Heasley, is a long-term pioneer within the 24-7 prayer movement and serves as the International Prayer Director, he has years of experience in local-church and pioneer missions. Brian is passionate about prayer, mission, and justice that is rooted in a rhythm of devotional and prayerful responsiveness. Brian’s latest book is Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times.
See the 24/7 Prayer Movement
LECTIO 365 Prayer App for Iphone and Android.
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Need coaching or spiritual direction that aligns with this podcast? Connect with Cyd Holsclaw here.
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[00:00:15] Geoff: Scripture tells us be still and know that I am God, but for so many of us, this is so hard. Today's episode explores downtime, devotions, and distractions as we seek to be with God in our private, as well as our public lives. This is the embodied faith podcast with Jeff and Sid Holzkla, where we are exploring a neuroscience informed spiritual formation, and we are produced as always by grassroots Christianity, which is growing faith for every day.
People today, we have Brian Heasley, uh, with us today. He is a long term pioneer with the 24 seven prayer movement. He's going to tell us a little bit about that, uh, as he serves as the international prayer director for that movement. He has years of experience in the local church and in missions. He is passionate about prayer missions.
Justice and making sure that they're all rooted in rhythms of devotion and prayerful responsiveness. And he just wrote a book, be still a simple guide to quiet times, which we're going to be kind of talking about dipping in and out of Brian. Thanks for being on the show today.
[00:01:21] Brian: Hey, guys. Lovely to be with you. Thanks for having me. Uh, really appreciate you taking the time for the conversation. Thank you.
[00:01:28] Geoff: Oh yeah. Well, it's, it's so great to have you on. We're hoping that just having the British accent will really bump up our stats for this episode. Uh, you know, I'm very sure that that's what will happen. Uh, small world though. Cause I, I heard about your book, I think through your publisher, through, uh, NavPress, and then I was like, Oh, we're going to have this guy on.
And Sid was like, wait, is that the guy from, um, Oh, now the app's name is, uh, slipping my mind. Yeah, I liked you at 365 and I was like, I don't know, is it? And then she looks, she's like, yeah, it's the same guy. I was like, Oh, small world. So Sid, how did you hear about, uh, Brian and some of the work he's doing?
What is that app?
[00:02:06] Cyd: Yeah, well, the app is called Lectio 365 and it's a fantastic app. They have a daily prayer in the morning and then, uh, an evening examine, um, which is a nice way to cap off the end of the day as well. And uh, I just, it just feels very spirit led, very, um, Yeah, it's, it's the, and, and the repetition of the prayers at the, there's always a psalm at the beginning, taking a pause to be still, and then to join with the chorus of all believers in the psalm together.
And then the closing prayer always sends me off into my day the same way. Uh, the closing prayer is, can I just read it a minute, Jeff? Is that
[00:02:47] Geoff: Sure. Let's do
[00:02:48] Cyd: Yeah. So it's father helped me to live this day to the full being true to you in every way. Jesus helped me to give myself away to others being kind to everyone.
I meet spirit helped me to love the lost proclaiming Christ in all I do and say, amen. And that, that prayer, just, uh, the Trinitarian quality of it and just the way that it sends me off into my day every day. I've just always, I've really appreciated the Lectio 365 app. So when you said, and then they did a, they did a one week series that was sort of excerpts of the Be Still.
book and the idea, or I think it was excerpts, but the idea of developing a daily quiet time. And that's when I was really introduced to Brian, because you guys don't make yourselves known on the app. It's not like there's superstars on the app and you're always saying who's reading or who's doing what.
So I think the first time I recognized your name was when the book showed up, you know, and it was like the little, the link to if you'd like to buy the book. And I went, Oh yeah, that looks really good. And then Jeff said we were interviewing and I went, Oh, that's the guy. So, yeah, so, it's, it's, it's, yeah, the Lectio 365 app for our listeners, if you haven't checked it out, I highly encourage you to do so, it's, it's um, a beautiful app.
[00:04:08] Geoff: Well, we'll get that in the show notes and we'll talk about that in a second. But for Brian, for people who don't know, what is the, um, the 24, seven prayer movement, uh, and how, how did you get started in that?
[00:04:21] Brian: Can you hear the small aircraft that happens to be hovering over my home right now?
[00:04:26] Geoff: No.
[00:04:27] Brian: Wise here ever. And, but today right now, here we are, there's a, there's an airplane. It's ridiculous. Uh, yeah, 24, seven prayers been around for 25 years next year. The idea really is, uh, we did, do we pray as much as we should.
Does the church pray as much as it should and it wasn't out of guilt, it was out of a desire and a sense of thinking that, you know, we've got all our structures, all our programs, all our plans in place, but how often do we bring God into it? And we were very inspired by the Moravian prayer, prayer,
movement that happened based out of Hörnhut in Germany, where Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf set up 100 year prayer meeting.
I don't think he initially said. Come along to the 100 year prayer meeting, but it morphed into a hundred year prayer meeting. But out of that prayer meeting, a great mission movement was born. Moravians went all around the world. I think even Wesley was deeply impacted by the way he saw Moravians pray on a boat during a storm.
But these guys from prayer kind of. were propelled out into the world. And so we, we were really captivated by this idea of prayer, mission, and justice, that they're the intertwining of the two that we breathe in and we breathe out. We breathe God's presence in, but we breathe God's presence out. So I'm kind of like the idea of it was gearing the church up to become contemplative activists.
I think we've often felt you could only be one or, you know, either we're like the missions guy or the prayer guy and actually. The missions guys without prayer get burnt out and the prayer guys without missions just live in a little like holy huddle and soak themselves to death, you know, so the idea of putting those two things together for us was great, but, but it was all all born around the idea that could a church pray 24 seven,
could you take, could you create a space, a room in your building where you would You know, people would go for one hour at a time and you know, would they pray?
And could we see that happening for a week, nonstop night and day prayer in order that the church would be revived and that culture would be renewed,
that those kinds of things for us were so important and it just kind of took off. My friend, Pete Greg, he ran it in his church and you know, it went ballistic free, free, free months of nonstop night and day prayer.
And then off the back of that, we were like, could we try and do this in England for a year? 52 churches in England said, yeah, let's do it. And then it just kind of, it was, it went viral before. We use the term viral and, uh, like last year, I think they had 1, 400, 24, seven prayer rooms in 70 different nations around the world. So it just, it just took off.
It exploded. And we were amazed. So, so my role really is looking after 24, seven prayers growth in other nations. So we now have offices in 20 different nations from like Iran to Peru to Switzerland, South Africa, also Malaysia. And we're just seeing this real growth. And it was, it was kind of born out of that sense of a local church can do this.
You don't need a big musician. You don't need like a big kind of, you could just create a room and very influenced as well by Ignatian spirituality, which was all very much about. Picturing oneself in the story and you know that which affected like a lot of 15th century 16th century Italian art For instance that that and you know that they believed in these kind of sagrad montes as well Where you walked and you saw you pictured yourself in the story.
There were great statues of biblical scenes. We didn't quite We've worked all this out afterwards, but we created these really creative prayer rooms where people could come in and there'd be painting and pictures and books and water fountains. And I think nearly for a while there, nearly every prayer room had a wave. You know, because it seems to be the tip of a lion painted lion in the corner. But I think it's, it's moved on from then. And it just, it's just grown into things like prayer spaces in schools. We, we then developed a, a missional order called the order of the mustard seed and out of that desire to see the church pray and call out, we developed. The app Lectio 365 and you know, we also do a thing called Lectio for families as well, which is, which has gone well and we would, we, we would say we are constantly bewildered by the fact that God has chosen a ragtag bunch of Brits to, uh, to do this and we're, we're, we're, we're humbled. I would say just, just, just on that, I sound English, but I'm actually Irish.
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I lived, my father moved to England when I was younger. So I like just to get that in sometimes because I don't want everyone to think I'm English when really I'm Irish,
but I sound English.
[00:09:12] Geoff: even said that too, I was like your English accent. So thank you for the clarification. So those are some of the big things that you've been a part of in the 24 seven prayer movement is doing, which is super exciting.
[00:09:23] Cyd: the way, I'm sorry. Can I interrupt really quick? We have a really cool prayer garage in our city. Um, that is a, it's a 24 seven prayer room and it's just somebody's house behind their house. They just turned their garage into a prayer room that people can come into and pray anytime. And it's, It's very cool.
You know, there's like little string lights and there's like a hot pot with tea and, and there's, you know, a map of the world with some specific things to be praying for and different stations and art materials. And it's an, it's an awesome space. And I know that that's connected to 24 seven. Yeah.
[00:10:00] Brian: We've seen these things happen like in shops. We even, someone set a prayer room up in a brewery once, you know, and, and on a, there was one on a battleship that we've had
prayer rooms in prisons, prayer rooms in cathedrals. We were asked to do a prayer room in St. Paul's cathedral in London,
you know, and from like cathedrals to prisons and everything in between people are, you are really going for it.
So it's so encouraging to hear that people just, just do this. It's, it's, it's easy,
easier than people would imagine.
[00:10:28] Cyd: Yeah. Okay, Jeff. I'm sorry I interrupted. Get back to your question.
[00:10:32] Geoff: Well, I wanted to kind of like drill down into like the personal life. Like you wrote this book called be still a simple guide to quiet times. You know, and I was growing up, we call them devotions, right? So you have your devotion time, you're setting aside, you're devoting your time to God.
But for you, why do you feel, um, you know, that this is so important for Christians to develop? We have a sense of like downtime, right? We check out, we watch Netflix, we kind of do our own thing. But why is like devotional time so important to, to emphasize?
[00:11:03] Brian: I became a Christian when I was 20, uh, and I'm in, I'm in my early fifties now. And, and, uh, at that point. I came from a broken background, my mother had died when I was young, I'd been to prison, I was very involved with drugs, I had, you know, all sorts of different things had gone wrong in my life, and I would probably, nowadays we'd say I was probably a bit of a mental health crisis happening, if you know what I mean, and back then it wasn't quite so, it was just, you know, you know how it was, and I, I came to faith, and I had grown up in a Christian home and I'd always remembered that my father and my mother they prayed every day And you know would kneel by the bed and all that kind of stuff So I just thought it was what you did when you became a Christian was you you you had a set aside time every day to Pray read your Bible and talk to Jesus and so I just kind of got on with it and and and then recently I've got Two adult sons who are in their 20s and I thought if I could give them something that would help sustain them through the next 20, 25 years of their lives, what would it be?
And I, it was to me in the end, it became more about, well, what do we do regularly rather than what do I do weekly or what do I do monthly or what big conference sustains me or meeting sustains me? Actually, what personally is it that sustains me as a Christian and helps me work through that on a daily basis?
And I, I just thought. It's the quiet time. So I just went through my own quiet time and looked at what I did and then kind of tried to bits and bobs out that I thought would be helpful to others. So I think it's important because we're in a very, uh, A busy culture. Our culture is crazy at the minute and I don't think it's going to slow down and I think we are in a space right now where the world is busy.
Everything's hectic. They've got a lot going on. We're bombarded left, right and center by imagery and adverts and the whole, the whole picture. I'm not a Luddite. I love technology, but at the same time, uh, we, we, we could Be in danger of being the distracted generation of Christians
who, who are kind of doing it, but you know, we're, we're, we're also doing all the other things as well and I'm just struck by the idea that I, I should be offering people something different as a Christian when I walk about in my everyday life and if I'm not spending regular time with Jesus, I don't know how that happens. I guess as well, Jeff, I'm kind of I look at the life of Jesus, for instance, and he did it. He withdrew and prayed. And I'm kind of thinking, so I'm, I'm definitely not better than him. And, and if he, if that was part of his. routine, his life, I, as a disciple or as an apprentice of Jesus, why, why, why should I not?
I would want to mimic how he lived. And I often
see him withdrawing to the desert place or going up a mountain or going into a garden. There was, there was a kind of a, he, he had these regular set aside times where he went and prayed, withdrew and spent time with the father and I'm, I want to do the same. I guess also if you were to look in Genesis, Genesis chapter three, you would see that the, uh, the, the, the initial concept of our, the creation story was that man walked with God. And there's an old commentator called Elikot, and he says that the, the, one of the, the, the verb that walking means walking for pleasure.
In the reflexive conjugation of the Hebrew, it means walking for pleasure. And so I think initial creation intent was that man and woman walked for pleasure with the father. And I'm sometimes like we walk for business, you know, God, can you help me with this? God, can you do that? I need you. I need you here.
I need you, you know, there's, Oh, there's bad stuff happening. And then when, when things are going well, we don't, we don't bother. We kind of like, we almost, God becomes our crisis person that we run to. And as long as we go to church on Sunday and. You know, have that weekly feast, we're okay, but... I want to get into that space of walking for pleasure in the
garden. And so for me, the, the, uh, quiet time is me trying to create a garden where I can walk with God on a regular basis and commune with him, talk to him, but also listen to him and experience him. in, in all his fullness.
Sometimes it's really boring and challenging, but other times it's beautiful and deep and I, I just, I just have to keep doing it because it's, it's, it's been the marker of my faith and the sustainer of my life.
[00:15:29] Geoff: Hmm.
[00:15:30] Cyd: the way you just said that, that your quiet time is cultivating a garden where you can commune with God for pleasure. That is a very different way of understanding it than you have to sit down every day and you have to read the Bible and you have, like, it's, it's not duty or obligation, it's invitation and delight.
Um, and I also appreciate that you said some days it's really boring and challenging. Thank you. In other days, it's really deep and rich. And with that boring and challenging, I'm curious, what would you say to someone who says, every time I sit down and try to pray, I'm just totally distracted?
[00:16:04] Brian: Oh,
[00:16:06] Geoff: Welcome to the Human Race,
[00:16:09] Brian: Yeah, I was gonna say that, but I think it was C. S. Lewis who said distractions will always be with us. They weren't, you know, there's never the perfect time. There's never the perfect space. But we we we live in a kind of there's a couple of things that I think Play into that.
One is we live in a culture of immediacy and we need to learn the art of perseverance and a culture of immediacy. So we want everything quickly. We can get everything quickly. We're speaking on two different continents right now. It's super easy. Things happen fast that actually the biblical narrative is one of long terms, you know, pray, keep praying, keep going.
And so it's super That that's that that plays into it a bit. But distraction is is big for us in so many ways. In the fact, I mean, Jesus talks, doesn't he? And if he's Matthew six or seven, we says when you pray, go away. And, uh, you know, lock yourself in a room and pray. You know, it was basically it was a storeroom.
He was referring to a windowless room. And I just think we've got so. I've, I've really been learning, you know, about putting my phone away, putting my iPad away, put my laptop away, you know, so that I can super focus. But also I, I'd be like, I'd be reading say sit down for your quiet time. You're reading like Romans 12.
And you think, ah, you know, I'd love to go to Rome. I've got some friends from Rome. Oh yeah, uh, pasta. I'd love that. Why don't we have pasta for dinner? Oh yeah, when I was in the supermarket yesterday, there was some pasta, but there was also some strawberries. We had a beautiful strawberry
[00:17:32] Cyd: that is so my brain you're describing.
[00:17:35] Brian: yeah, generally, and before you know it, I'm like, strawberry dessert? And I think, oh, when we were round my mother in law's, I said I would borrow her lawnmower. Oh, I should have borrowed her lawnmower. Why don't I buy my own lawnmower? I can't afford a lawnmower. Maybe I should go on eBay and get a second hand lawnmower.
And before you know it, my devotional time about Romans 12 has turned into... An eBay search for a secondhand lawnmower. And I, and it all, you know, and so our own minds are, you know, are challenging little spaces to keep control of, aren't they? So I, I try to work at taming my distractions. So a lot of the time I'm, I either write it down, I laugh about it.
Or I pray about it. So if I'm, if you know, if I'm praying and say a married couple I know are struggling and it pops into my mind, is that a distraction or is that something I should pray about? So I, I, or, you know, if I need to buy a new lawnmower pops into my head, I laugh it off. I try and laugh it off.
But then there's other things that are just like, Oh, I've got a meeting later today. So I just write it down. So I kind of, I have to be very conscious in, in dealing with distractions. It's a little bit like running, not that I do it anymore because of a knee surgery. But the, the first few. You know, mile, two miles can be really challenging, but all of a sudden you settle into a rhythm. And as you settle into the rhythm, it starts to come and it's, I guess it's settling into the rhythm
and, and I guess as well, Sid, it's like a seasonal. So there are honestly sometimes where you're going to be way more distracted than others. And we just have to accept that, that I, I have an hour in a chair in my living room every morning. I'm a 50 year old man whose children have left home. You know, I, I, I, I get up early because my bladder tells me to get up early and I'm like, and, and, and, you know, and I, and then, and then I've got an hour of my time, but if I'd have tried to do that whenever Tracy, my wife was trying to get the two boys ready for school, it would never have happened, you know, so at different seasons, I think would lead to different types of quiet time. I used to go to the gym as well. I'm making myself sound like I was really super fit, but I'm not. I ran maybe 10 times once. And I used to go to the gym when I was younger, but I, when I had the children, I, when you were doing a bench press, you know, with two weights on your arms, I would lift both my sons up to God in
that movement of. So it's almost like turning those moments of everyday
life into prayerful, quiet times, like walking the dog. I would walk the dog and, you know, and, and pray whilst doing that or, or boiling. You guys don't boil kettles, do you? You put all your tea in the microwave. I've heard in the
[00:20:09] Cyd: Oh, no. We
[00:20:09] Geoff: have a hot, we have a hot pot. Yep.
[00:20:12] Brian: Okay. That's cool. So, but when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil, when I'm making a cup of tea in the morning, which makes you sound terribly British, uh, I, if you were to stand still whilst the kettle boils and say, God, who do I need? know, where do I need to warm up in my life? Where do I, you know, and you just, we, we just kind of other, you know, while the kettle's boiling, sometimes we can just run around and tidy up the kitchen or, you know, or whatever, or I'm cleaning my teeth in the morning and I want to pray for Lithuania. Why don't I put a post it note of Lithuania on my mirror and then I'm just looking and I think, yeah, remember to pray for Lithuania or turning my car into a sanctuary, you know, rather than just listening to music and all of that. Why not? And some of our journeys, I know you guys love being in your cars loads, not you two specifically, but I went, I went somewhere once in the U S and they didn't have any paths to walk on.
It was all just roads. That was, it was crazy. But, you know, turn the car into a sanctuary. Why not switch the music off for half an hour? I think I'm going to specifically talk to you, Jesus, about stuff, family, friends, my own life. And so it's I guess it's being creative
[00:21:16] Cyd: Yeah. I love all those descriptions of practical ways to do that when you feel like you can't sit down for an hour. Um, I did a lot of that when I was, you know, when I was raising two kids, staying at home and doing all other, you know, homeschooling and working and all the other things. Um, of like every time I grabbed the dish soap to wash the dishes, that was a prayer of, you know, sort of confession and forgiveness and being made new again.
And I also like the way that you talked about, you know, brushing your teeth. I've, I don't know how many people at, you know, in spiritual direction sessions, I'll say, well, what if you just had a prayer when you went to the bathroom, you're going to go to the bathroom all throughout the day anyway. Um, so that idea of tying a prayer or tying intentionality to something you're already going to do all day long, or something you're going to do every morning, Brush your teeth.
I hope. Right. So every time you brush your teeth, tying that to intentionality about remembering God's presence and, you know, drawing, drawing
[00:22:12] Geoff: can you just explain a little bit more about the research, about how to create those habits and hooking them onto other things and just how that works in our brain? So, because, because, uh, you know, uh, Brian listed all those things, uh, and he's actually suggesting everything that the good science, can you just fill that out really quick
[00:22:30] Cyd: Yeah. Well, it's just, you know, we have, we have what's called procedural memory, which is, you know, memory that becomes automatic because it's something we do regularly. So things like tying our shoes or driving our cars or, you know, uh, making our tea. Whatever it is, brushing your teeth, there are things that become automatic because they're so ingrained in your mind that you don't think consciously about them all the time.
Um, so those things are already in place rather than the things that, you know, a new habit requires at least 27, actually some research says 60 days to really ingrain a new habit. Um, and so taking something that's already a procedural memory for you and attaching a new intention to it. Um, brings a level of awareness and consciousness to that thing that you do all the time anyway.
Um, but it also, you know, creates opportunity to establish a new habit, a new routine that's part of a procedural memory that you already have. So
[00:23:26] Brian: Wow.
So good. I often wonder if some of the neural pathways that had opened up for me as a child and witnessing prayer time and being made to kneel at my bed were, were, were well beaten tracks in my mind that I went back to. And when I was in my twenties, I then started to re walk, you
know, so I think some of that, my, the stuff in my head was already there around quiet times, but that my parents had put in when I was young and I kind of. re sort of cleared those pathways as it were, you know,
[00:23:56] Cyd: Yeah. Well, even so, I mean, you carried implicit memories of being a Christian means. Kneeling by the bedside and praying, or being a Christian means, right? So you had all that implicit information inside of you when you did become a believer, you were like, all of that came forward of like, that's what it means.
So that's what I do.
[00:24:13] Geoff: so
[00:24:13] Cyd: Yeah.
[00:24:14] Brian: I'd love you to give me some spiritual direction, Sid. It'd be great.
[00:24:18] Geoff: She's a good one. Well, so just a note to all the parents, then, you know, like having your kids go through those things, even when you're feeling like, oh, they hate it when we make them do this, or they're not getting anything out of it, or you just don't see the impact that it's having. You know, like Brian said, you're, you're kind of creating grooves in the minds and the bodies of children that'll last.
So that when we get a little older and, you know, in the spirits at work and God's ministering to us in different ways, you know, it's good to have that already in place. And so parents be diligent sometimes when you're just like, you don't know why you keep doing this or. Bible reading and prayer times, his family's like, just keep doing it because it creates those spiritual habits in advance.
So that's super great. Well, if somebody back to, uh, for you, Brian, if somebody is starting, um, or restarting needing to get back into like a rhythm of a quiet time, like what are the two or three things that you would just really want to encourage them and just kind of offer like practical things, uh, to kind of get them back into restarting, um, or starting for the first time, like a quiet time.
[00:25:22] Brian: I wouldn't start by trying to do an hour a day. I would, I would start with, I would start
with. You know, I would just start with a small moment, you know, I, I would, and I would introduce the Bible really, really quickly.
So I think it was, yeah, we, I, so there's, the first thing is time allocation is, is actually finding a spot in your day where you can take some time. I think, uh, research would show that we spend 150 minutes on social media a day. Uh, the Bible society said it would take you 15 minutes a day to read the Bible in one year. Okay. So you've got like, that's one 10th of what you're spending on social media. You could even now I'm not even suggesting you start to read four chapters a day, but, but there is that sense of where, where could we carve out some time in your life?
But you know, is that lunchtime? Is that in the evening? Is it, you know, where, where, and when, so a space. And a time are really important. So I have my arm chair in my comfortable little home and you know, it's easy for me, but a space and a time, which I guess some of the stuff we were just talking about. And then I would try and really make sure that I, a introduced the Bible. So I would start with some Psalms or reading the gospels. I, I guess slowly reading Mark. Would be really helpful. I use some devotional material as well. But I think you probably would move towards that. The pressure we often feel is as Christians is we need to read lots of the Bible, but it'd be better to read small chunks and absorb them.
Well, you know, it's a, you know, someone meditate on his word day and night. That whole idea of Meditation is linked to rumination and the, the, the, the chewing of the card or the like a bit like sucking a sweet, allowing all the flavor of the word to come permeate you and to get inside you. So, so I would rather look at like a smaller chunk of scripture that even, even memorizing is a really.
Memorizing scriptures. I guess we're once again, we're talking about creating patterns in our mind. Actually, we need to memorize scripture as well. So that's the time. There's a space. There's the bringing the word of God into I really think journaling has been a big help to me I've looked at writing and I'm not like a journal e kind of person But I I looked at it and it's it's been super helpful.
It's super helpful. But just dropping back to the Bible verse stuff I remember like well I remember being in being you know Like the Bible verses that I learned when I was a child I can still recite today And there were times when I was in prison where they haunted me You know, they were like in my mind.
There are other things I have forgotten, but I have, they've stuck in my head. So I, I think pouring God's word into ourselves is incredibly helpful and hiding it in our heart. The thing for me is that. With like the memory versus and stuff like that is that it says I've hidden your word in my heart But most of most of the time we've hidden his word on our iphone.
There are other
phones available, you know And and so nowadays we can just like oh, what does it say that thing about like? Peace, I leave with you. Just put it in the search thing of your, you know, of rather than actually knowing where it is, but not only that, I think it, it lives in us and if it lives in us, they become the words that we have in the storm
[00:28:39] Cyd: Mm
[00:28:39] Brian: that we, we, that they're the words I can turn to when I'm not sleeping well at night and I'm tossing and turning and I can think, Oh, it says in your word, you can't sleep to those you love, you know, and so on and so forth.
So I, I kind of think there's really something important about embedding the Bible into our heart. beings, not just into our kind of knowledge centers, as it were. And so that for me, that those, I think I might have just waffled a bit around your question there,
[00:29:06] Geoff: No those are all
[00:29:06] Brian: they, they, they would, they would be a.
[00:29:10] Geoff: When I
[00:29:10] Cyd: And starting with the, starting with the Lectio 365 app would be a great start too. Just sitting down and listening to that for,
[00:29:17] Brian: Super helpful.
That was what we did with that. Cause with, with the Lectio 365, we, we use the, we used pray like pause, reflect, ask, and yield.
And it's quite a helpful little metric for when it comes to comes, you know, pause, stop, slow down, reflect, look at the word, reflect on it, ask. We all have questions. We all have things we want to talk and yield is just saying, I yield to you.
Your will be done. You know, not my will,
you know, and so, uh, that, that is a, it is a really helpful way to be, and it takes like eight, seven or eight minutes and it just works it through and, and as you say, said, it kind of starts to grow and you kind of, there are bits of it that are repetitive deliberately
to help build those kind of
pathways of prayer, you know.
[00:30:01] Geoff: Yeah, that's, that's beautiful about the memorization. Um, you know, we talk like in our attachment course, our learning cohort and others like. Where you have like the, your explicit kind of thoughts, you know, like, Oh, I remember somewhere in the Bible, it says, you know, peace be with you. Or, you know, but then we have like those implicit, the memory systems that kind of spontaneously guide us when, especially when we're distressed, when they're in the storm, as you said, you know, and that's where scripture memorization is so important because they're only going to spontaneously arrive in those moments of distress.
If we've already like taking the time to put them deep. Within us. Um, because if it's just a verse that you kind of remember, but you know, you could look up on your phone at any time when you're really distressed, when you're not sleeping in the middle of the night, when you're in the midst of an argument or a really big disappointment in life, that's not coming to you.
Right. Uh, if you're going somewhere else or you're just left kind of on your own to wallow, so especially having that. That memorization I think is super important. I was also, and I bring that up because, you know, this podcast is called embodied faith and you were talking about a space and a time and bodies take up space, you know, and they live in time.
And so if we're going to have a quiet time, like we do need a space and a time, and we have to be intentional about setting that up, uh, and having certain rhythms, um, for that, for sure,
[00:31:19] Brian: Intentionality is a big key, isn't
[00:31:22] Cyd: hmm.
[00:31:22] Geoff: for sure.
[00:31:23] Brian: To be intentional about this stuff, yeah.
[00:31:26] Geoff: Well, I just want to, uh, I don't know if we need to end right away, but I was just wanting to go back to that metaphor, maybe Sid, do you have some other thoughts around it too about like walking in the garden with Jesus? And you made this distinction between like going to God for comfort and going to God for pleasure.
And I think that's really important is not that it's wrong to go to God. For comfort, uh, right. We should, I should call out to God in distress. You know, we call out to him and he hears us and he answers our prayers and amen. And hallelujah. He is a good father who understands our needs. But then there's also that, that pleasure and that walking.
And I was thinking, not that I'm. The gardener in our family, Sid is the gardener, right? But cultivating a garden takes work. And so there is like boring work in weeding. There's even the boring work in cultivating, you know, the flowers, or even taking care of last year's flowers at the end of the season.
So next year's flowers can bloom. These are all things I've heard and seen, you know, I've never really done any of this, but, uh, but then you get to, you know, I get all the benefits of Sid's work in the garden and our front and backyard. Right. So we get to, to, um. You know, enjoy the pleasure of the garden, but it comes with both those things.
And I, I think that that cultivating a garden imagery is so, I love, I just really like it. So thank you for sharing that because you have to put the work into it, but then you also get to enjoy it.
[00:32:45] Brian: Yeah, Yeah, And it's about who we meet in that garden as
well, isn't it?
[00:32:49] Cyd: hmm. Mm
[00:32:50] Brian: it's, yeah, it's the space. It's,
[00:32:52] Geoff: Exactly.
[00:32:52] Brian: creating that space. It's, and it's really, it's interesting that a lot of the commentators would say that in the cool of the day, Mediterranean wise, I lived in the Mediterranean for a number of years.
It was when all the work was done. So I do, I do like the, the idea of enjoyment and pleasure. I'm not, I'm not like a hedonist, but I do, but the idea that, the idea that God's primary expression towards us is a smile.
[00:33:17] Cyd: Yeah.
[00:33:18] Brian: When we walk into a room, his face lights up like a grandparent seeing their grandchildren.
You know, that, that idea that he is inclined to smile towards us, that his face shines on us, and that we should find immense pleasure in that.
Coming, and, and, and I guess we, just right at the beginning as well, it's, it's so much of prayer has been linked to guilt. You don't, I don't do it enough. None of, listen, I'm the international prayer director for a prayer movement.
I don't pray enough. You know, no one ever prays enough, but I pray more than I used to, but I don't, you know, so it's removing the guilt factor from it. And actually it's about, Hey, this is someone who, who absolutely adores you and is inclined towards you. And, you know, and so to step into that and walk in a garden with someone like that is just, is, is, I can't think of anything better to do really.
[00:34:12] Cyd: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that. Um, so I, uh, you know, do the Ignatian spiritual exercises and direct those retreats and I love how he suggests at the beginning of every prayer time, the first thing you do before you do anything else is you remember God's great love. Towards you, right? That like, that you remember that he is, that he is glad to be with you.
That his love is that is there for you unconditionally. And I love that. That's how he roots. Like this is how you begin your prayer time. You sit down, you remember that God loves you. Unconditionally. And that, you know, that's the beginning. The most important thing about you is that you're loved. Um, I'm paraphrasing a whole bunch and I'm also interpreting, but I know that that's, but that's what he started with, right?
Was like, it's the love that defines you. It's not the sin. It, the love comes first and then you are, the sin comes, but you are still loved. And so that is just so beautiful to me.
[00:35:10] Geoff: Amen. Well, any, uh, last word of encouragement or exhortation, uh, Brian, that you'd want to give, uh, listeners and, uh, readers of your book?
[00:35:20] Brian: I would, I'd love to exhort people to, to find a garden for me. It's a chair. Where's your chair? You know, where, where's your space where you sit for pleasure and with God. And, and, and learn about his smile, you know,
Psalm 136, there's like, I think about 27 repetitions of his love endures forever.
His love endures forever.
And it was like the, it was like the middle C, the central note of the faith, you know, and, and it was almost like that was the repeating of his love endures forever was there for the children of Israel to understand that as the primary driver. And I think for me, find it, find a space where you can experience the love that endures forever that has said.
Of God, you know, that free flowing, never ending love. So yeah, that's prayer
[00:36:08] Cyd: Yeah. It's been a
[00:36:09] Brian: spending time experiencing that love.
[00:36:12] Geoff: Well, the book is, uh, be still, uh, a simple guide to quiet times, be still. Uh, and Brian, where can people find the work you're doing or kind of follow you if you're on all the, the, the very distractible inter webs and social media devices, if you are.
[00:36:29] Brian: You can check us. You could check us out on 24 seven prayer. com and I am only on Instagram. I came off all the other stuff because it just was bad for my health. So I'm Brian. On Instagram. That's me. Uh, happy to follow along and see the randomness of my life. But, uh, 24 seven prayer dot com would be, uh, the space to find out more about our work and what we do and who we are.
[00:36:54] Geoff: Excellent. Very good. And for all of you listeners or people watching on YouTube, thank you for watching. Please share this around to people who you might think this would be helpful for. Like and subscribe wherever you find us. Well, Brian, thank you so much for being on. This has been a real treasure for us.
[00:37:12] Cyd: joy to have this conversation with you, Brian.
[00:37:15] Brian: Well, thank you both so much for having me. I really appreciate the time. It's been great to be with you both.