Studies have shown that prayer and meditation are key to developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  For some, prayer and meditation to God are their spiritual practices while others have their own form of meditation and reflection.  While I am an advocate of prayer and meditation to God (and my comments assume that) you may substitute the suggestions for the theology that you practice. If you do not use a journal I would encourage you to do so.  You might want to do a thirty day trial of journaling.  Many of the suggestions listed should be written down.  For one, the practice of physically writing something seals the words further into our minds and souls.  Secondly, it is a record of the snapshot of our feelings, concerns, praises in a specific time frame.  Sometimes when we encounter a difficulty and wonder how we will ever get through, a journal with past concerns and issues reminds us that we did get through them. 

Spirit Practices:

Invite God into your day.  Ask that you might join Him in whatever He is doing today.

If you were a painter, wouldn’t you be thrilled to be able to join Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt or whomever you admire and to have them give you intimate lessons about your work?  When you partner with the Creator of the universe, your day seems to develop in a way that is unexpected, is exciting,and is purpose filled.  You can do so by a simple prayer each morning:  “Dear God, Thank you for another day in which to live.  Thank you for allowing me to join you in whatever you are planning.  May you use my gifts and talents to further your Kingdom.  Amen.”

Repeat the same prayer, Bible verse, life affirmation, every day for thirty days. Recite the following prayer:  “Hear, O Israel.  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.”

Write five items for which you are grateful. Write this in your journal either morning or night or at both times.  In the morning an attitude of gratitude puts the day in perspective and guards you against despair and cynicism.  An evening list can help calm and relax us before sleep.

Each morning read from the Bible.  Use a devotional- classics, like My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers or new classics like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. You can get daily devotionals sent to your phone or email.  Google daily devotional apps for ones that fit your device.  

 Read uplifting poetry or stories from writers such as Madeleine L’Engle, any of the “Chicken Soup” series, Elizabeth Berg, Anne Morrow Lindbergh.