Matthew 6:25-34: Joy Hia Gyaw, Myanmar
Sit for a few moments in quiet stillness. Focus on your breathing taking slow, deep breaths. Try to turn your focus away from outside thoughts and simply focus on your breathing. Sit in quiet for as long as you would like.
When you are ready, read the following passage of scripture. As you read, allow the ear of your heart to listen for a word or phrase that resonates with you.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
After you have completed the reading, allow that word or phrase to resound within you. If you are in a group, take turns sharing only that word or phrase.
Allow the word or phrase you have chosen to repeat in prayerful silence.
After a short period of reflection, read the scripture a second time. This time, reflect on any thoughts or feelings that come up for you while reading the scripture again. What might God be asking you through the reading of this scripture?
After reading for a second time, take a few moments in silence to continue this personal reflection.
When you are ready, watch the following video of a personal reflection from one of Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners.
Program Partner, Joy Hia Gyaw, reflects on Matthew 6:25-34 and what the passage means to her personally. Joy works with the Church of the Province of Myanmar and serves as the day-to-day contact person for the programs in Myanmar. For further reading about various programs in Myanmar, click here.
After watching the video, reflect prayerfully on what you heard. How has this person’s relationship with God given them a unique perspective?
After reflecting on the words from the video, read the passage a third time. As you read, listen once again with the ear of your heart and respond spontaneously as you listen. Notice any prayerful response that arises within you, for example a small prayer of gratitude or praise.
If you are alone, continue this prayerful reflection for a time after you complete the reading. If God is calling you to silent reflection, simply spend time in the quiet. If you are in a group, a time of prayerful silence follows the third reading.
Following this brief period of silence, an appointed person may say:
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, page 395
Episcopal Relief & Development would like to thank Lindsay Boyer for her guidance on Lectio Divina. For more information on Lectio Divina and other forms of centering prayer, visit lindsayboyer.com.