Building a Personal Prayer 5: Where Do You Live?

Amazing God, Everlasting Mother/Father,
Patient, persistent, pursuing Lover.

You are an awesome God, an all-encompassing, all-invading, all-embracing Presence,

And you are here, with me and in me, now.

It is in you that I live and move and have my beingand apart from you I have no life at all.

I make my home in you, where I find sanctuary.

4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.  (John 15:4 The Message)

More than a year ago, I applied to be on the waiting list for an apartment that I believe will meet my downsized needs and be in a location that is convenient to the places I need to go and the groups to which I belong. Last July I was #91 on the waitlist. In November I was #71. Now in February, I am #47. I was very disappointed because I had hoped to be able to move in by this coming spring. Now it looks like it might not be till the end of summer.

The next morning I came to this part of my personal prayer and stopped short: “I make my home in You.”  That is what I desire to do, so it doesn’t really matter where I live! I have always been something of an adventurer – a very safe one, to be sure. I don’t climb rocks or mountains, but I have lived in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, and Michigan. Now in my seventies, I am hoping for a semi-permanent home that demands less of me physically.

I must remember that I am rooted in Christ. I have “pitched my tent” in God as my home. There I find sanctuary: a place of refuge, rest, protection, immunity from arrest or persecution!

My personal prayer continues:
Make your home in me that I may bear fruit to your glory, for apart from you I can do nothing.

5 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. (John 15:5 The Message)

When I first began praying this, I saw myself in an orchard, knowing that the pear tree was my responsibility. Why a pear tree? I like pears but I never know how to select ripe ones to eat and they aren’t my favorite fruit. Why not peaches or oranges – two of my most favorite ones?

If I am called by God – as we all are – what is the fruit God wants me to bear? Who are the people God wants me to befriend and to whom God wants me to bear further fruit of love and grace?  Pears are okay. Can I love them as much as I love peaches?

Consider: What questions can help you in answering where you live and what you are called to do?


About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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One Response to Building a Personal Prayer 5: Where Do You Live?

  1. Frank says:

    Personally, I find that you have been a great resource and support for me on my spiritual journey over these past few years and in that you are living your life in support of others who journey along with you. This includes your family, your friends and neighbors. And it is your fruit in the glory of God.
    As for the first comment about your moving to a new living abode, I recall the phrase “Wherever you go, there you are.”
    And more recently I heard another quote that seems to fits as well: “I’m still becoming who I am becoming, I’m still me.”
    This quote was spoken from a pulpit during a sermon at a UUC church I attended recently. I have no attribution for it but like its open mindedness or circular thought.
    I’m still me as I grow and change (and/but) I am still me as I learn and grow.

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