Be Still Challenge

This challenge is designed to help your intention at the start of the year and to get into a routine each day by spending time in prayer and on your mat.

Each day of the month will have a NEW meditation and we invite you to participate each day starting on January 1st.

WEEK 3 – DAY / MEDITATION / POSTURE

Day 15 / Standing Postures of Prayer / Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Michelle Thielen

Meditation:

Standing Postures of Prayer

Posture: Mountain (Tadasana)

Remember to modify: sit in a chair or stand against a wall, bring hands to heart center in prayer position. To deepen: Engage the entire lower half by “hugging” the leg muscles into the bone, lifting one foot off the floor, including side bends, a back bend or a forward fold. You may also deepen this pose by looking up or closing your eyes…or both!

STANDING

Prayers that were prayed while standing were for adoration, thanksgiving, worship, and praise. While standing in awe of God, the hands were typically open with the palms facing upward toward Heaven, and generally speaking the eyes were open and lifted toward the heavens.

Orans is the Latin word for praying. It is the oldest prayer posture found in scripture and most commonly used in today’s Western churches, and Jewish synagogues, practiced during mass and the standard position for taking communion together. Some pastors today require standing for the reading of God’s word. During this time many lift their hands or face their palms upward to receive and absorb the words or prayers that are being spoken. Seeing a church gather and stand at the reading of God’s word proves that there are Christians who honor, revere, and respect the written Word of God.

Some of the most memorable stories and miracles from the Bible have come from standing postures that look up to Jesus or Heaven.

1 Timothy 2:8 In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.

John 17:1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come…

John 11:41 Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

Luke 9:27-32 The Mountain of Transfiguration, “But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.” Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him

Psalms 121:1, I look up to the hills from where my help comes from.
1 Sam 1:26 Hannah presented to the Lord her petition while standing, and the Lord answered her.

Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

In Luke 18:10-14, God answered the prayers of sinners as they stood, prayed, and humbled themselves. “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

One of my most beloved stories in the Bible is found in 2 Chronicle 20. A story of how God answered Jehoshaphat as he and his small army gathered corporately and stood in prayer believing God would fight their overwhelming battle for them as they obeyed His commandment of standing still. God performed a miracle. Jehoshaphat and his people stood victorious in the face of their defeated enemy! When you have done all that you can do, stand!

2 Chronicle 20:5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard. Verse 13 continues, All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children Ephesians 6:13 (TLB) So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.

The Message Version “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so no one falls behind or drops out.”

Day 16 / Fruit of the Spirit / Knees to Chest | Wind Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

Andrea Larson

Meditation:

Fruit of the Spirit
Posture: Knees to Chest | Wind Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law” Gal 5:22-23

“Against such things there is no law”. There is no limit to the extent man can experience from Him or express towards others the fruit of the Spirit. Notice that it does not read FRUITS (plural). All of these amazing gifts are the embodiment of the Spirit of Christ who is in each of us. We are the living temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are such precious gifts to Him. We don’t have to settle for just peace or for just love. We can partake of them all.

In a hurting world where tragedy and monstrosities are occurring moment by moment, what better opportunity do we have to show them who He is by our words and actions that are orchestrated by His guidance? Don’t you know that it is the goodness of Him that leads people to repentance? (Rom 2:4) Repentance is not a physical action like most people assume. Biblically it is the word Metanoeo, meaning “to change one’s mind for the better”. This implication refers to man believing that God is good, that He is for them, not against them, and that they rely on the finished work of the cross.

Let us receive from Him fully so that from the overflow of our hearts we may show the world a better view of who He is and how much He cares for each one of us regardless of color, creed, gender, circumstance, political views and so on. He does not wish for anyone to perish, He desires only that they know Him. (2 Peter 3:9).

Father, thank you for the countless gifts you bless us with including the little things we take for granted. I know you are for me and not against me. You desire for me to know you intimately and prosper me abundantly. Help me to show those in my sphere of influence the Grace and mercy that is Jesus so their minds may be fixed on You for the better. In Jesus Name.

Day 17 / Backbends, I lift my heart to you oh Lord / Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Michelle Thielen

Meditation:

Backbends

Posture: Cobra (Bhujangasana)

BACK BENDS
If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to Him in prayer! Job 11:13

Throughout the Bible we see the importance of our prayer postures. Prone or prostate postures are shown as an urgent cry or plead to the Lord out of desperation. Bowing down on the knees, we read this as an act of humility and surrender. Standing prayers are seen as praise and worship, giving thanks to the Lord. Back bends will not only be a posture of praise and worship, but they are also an incredible way to lift your heart and soul to the Lord. Most prone postures are back bends, so you may use these postures for a plea to the Lord as well as an offering of praise.

To you, Lord, I have lifted up my soul. Psalm 25:1

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling so grateful just to be alive? Does your heart get overwhelmed at the many blessings that you have? Maybe it is as simple as the breath in your body. You know some no longer have this simple pleasure. Perhaps it is as simple as having a car that gets you from point “A” to point “B”. Some days, I wake up and simply want to thank the Lord for waking me up. A standing back bend can help us to pause, stand firm, lift our heart, and praise our Heavenly Father.

Because these poses come from leg strength, the bottom half of your body must be completely engaged for a successful back bend. As we talked about in the Standing Postures, you have to root down in the feet, be strong in the Lord, then you can rise up and lift your heart towards the heavens.
It was strong and beautiful, with wide-spreading branches, for its roots went deep into abundant water. Ez 31:7 NLT

Like twists, back bend postures can be incorporated into many postures such as seated, standing, balancing, prone or supine poses. The nervous, digestive, and metabolic systems are all stimulated in back bend postures. They are known to be rejuvenating and invigorating, for this reason it may not be a good idea to practice them near bedtime. Back bends stretch and release the chest muscles allowing circulation to flow freely to the heart and lungs. Mental clarity and focus can be a result of back bends as cerebral spinal fluids are circulated throughout the system. Back bends also stimulate the lymphatic system, pumping lymphatic fluids, by opening the chest, armpits and groin where lymph nodes and glands are located. Back bends cause pressure on the kidneys and adrenals, which not only enhances the cleansing action, but also releases adrenaline, causing an invigorating sensation, while stimulating our metabolism.

In any back bend, be reminded of your prayer and praise posture. Also know that these postures are cleansing, rejuvenating and stimulating. You may feel like you went jogging after a back bend, allow the energy and fresh oxygen to flow throughout your body. Always release any back bend gently and rest a moment if needed.

The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted Him, so I received help. My heart is triumphant;
I give thanks to Him with my song. Ps. 28:7

Day 18 / Flowing in His Grace / Video

Day 19 / Psalm 91, The Secret Place / Video

Day 20 / Promise of the Gospel / Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Kathleen Kolze

Meditation:

Promise of the Gospel

Posture: Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Through your life you might have heard or sung the song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so…”. Jesus loves you. He loved you before you were born, as you were a young child, and as you grew older. Jesus loves you now. Breath into this wonderful, amazing truth.

Stand firm into and ground into your foundational leg in Dancer pose. Breath in the fact “Jesus loves me.” Feel all four corners of your foot in the ground, your body strong and firm. Arms stretching in opposite directions, front palm active and reaching forward toward all that God has for you! Lift your heart and head high, neck relaxed and tall. The energy of Christ is in you, around you, and in love with you!

I challenge you not to think that simple song is too young for you. Or that it is no longer true now that you are a grown up with things you might not be proud of. The song is still relevant. “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so…”. It doesn’t get any better than that. But maybe it does. Even if you don’t memorize scripture, it is possible that you know John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Wow. Breathe that in. Say it aloud. Again. And once more.

Yes, not only does Jesus love you in an incomprehensible, eternal way; He died for you. Suffered to take away your sins. Allowing you to have everlasting life with him. Breath in that reality. Stand firm and immovable in your Dancer, feel His grace surround you, dance in it. Jesus loves me this I know!

It might make you smile and laugh aloud at how wonderful this is. And maybe at the same time cry with joy. This is all good. John 3:16. Challenge yourself to never let this passage feel ‘overused’ or dull — it is His promise! Jesus loves you! “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

That promise can move Mountains. Stand tall. Firm. And be still with God as you embody His promise.

Day 21 / The Lord will fight for you / Star | Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana )

Meditation:

The Lord will fight for you
Posture: Star / Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana )
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
Set up with pose by spreading your feet about 4-5 feet apart. Sweep your arms out to the sides so that your wrists come above your ankles. Spreading your toes apart, begin to push the four corners of your feet into the earth. Draw energy up through feet and legs. Elongate arms, spine, neck. Relax shoulders.
As you inhale, hear the wind whisper, “God will fight for you.” Feel your faith expand as you draw energy up through your legs and open up into the five points of your star. The Lord is fighting your battles!
The wind whispers again, “My dear one, just be still.” He knows the battle is too big for you. He knows there is no possible way the Red Sea will part unless he rends the heavens and creates a miracle.
As the Spirit of God roots you into this truth, feel joy filling your heart and shooting out from your limbs. Let that joy shine on your face. Smile.

Remember Modifications: Use a chair or keep arms down

Let your shining star declare:
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. – Psalm 9:1
You fill me with joy in your presence. – Ps. 16:11
I am joyful in hope. – Romans 12:12
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. – Ps. 144:15

Return to this star pose and these meditations throughout the day. It only takes a few breaths to remember this confidence and be reassured in his promise. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.

Congratulations on being still for 3 weeks! Keep at it, the best is yet to come!

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