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Prayer Power: Summer with God

Here are six ways you can experience spiritual growth this summer.

A woman reads her Bible in a field of yellow flowers
Credit: SANNI
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For some, summer is a verb. As in “Where do you summer?” The question assumes a certain level of wealth and leisure. Of course, not everyone can afford a lake house or country home, let alone an extended stay away from the pressures of daily life. But we can all summer with God.

Want to enjoy a season of spiritual warmth, growth and renewal? Pick from among the following six suggestions, which form the acrostic summer. Or even try them all!

Slow down.
Summer brings a change of pace—vacation, holidays, travel. Why not take advantage of that change and invite God into it? Take a break, whether it’s a beach vacation or a weekend away, and listen for God’s voice. Pause for prayer on a walk or hike. Arrive early at church, or linger a little longer in God’s presence.

Unload a burden.
We dress lighter in summer: No heavy coats, scarves or sweaters. But is something still weighing you down? A grudge? Regret? A bad habit? An unrealistic expectation? This summer, ask God to help you let go of whatever’s cluttering your spirit.

Move prayer practice outside.
Take your morning coffee-and-prayer time to the backyard. Or find a spot in the park to pray and read your Bible or an inspirational book. A favorite memory of mine is from a backpacking trip I took with my teenage son. We stopped by a mountain stream, kicked off our shoes and read In His Steps while dangling our feet in the cool water.

Mingle seasonal pleasures with prayer.
Stop to smell the roses—literally—and give thanks for the fragrance of summer. Share a tall glass of lemonade or slice of melon with your prayer partner. Drop by a Little League game or neighborhood playground to savor the sounds of the season, and let God prompt a few fond memories from your childhood—or your children’s.

Enjoy an outdoor worship experience.
Do any churches in your area host concerts or worship services in the park or at the beach? Some churches even hold periodic “holy hikes,” blending worship and low-impact walking. Check out a nearby prayer labyrinth. Or simply find a flower-filled meadow and sing a hymn of praise to God.

Reflect and recharge.
When you look back on these summer months, how would you like your spiritual life to be different? Refreshed? Rejuvenated? What moments might produce such a result in you and for you?

You might spend an hour reflecting on the first half of this year and asking for God’s blessing on the second half to come. Or you might renew a practice you’ve let slide, such as attending church or singing in the choir. Or you might rekindle a friendship and pray together over the phone.

Summer is an easy season to love. You’ll love it even more if you include God in your plans and summer with him.

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