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Session 3, Crying

Contemplation Retreat
Doug Floyd (2/2006)
Session 3 Crying
1. Crying is the key way babies communicate need.

2. Repentance is refreshment for heart.

A. Confession focuses on specific sin; repentance heals a damaged heart.

B. Exposing our weakness in the light of God’s love.

Our true weaknesses often hide from our eyes. It is actually God’s grace that peals back the
veil of our own hearts.

9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in
weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in
persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(See 2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

Paul functioned in a role similar to a rhetorician. Thus, he would be expected to brag on his
accomplishments. He would be expected to take large gifts from the church. He would be
expected to look stronger than everyone else. Paul is embarrassing the Corinthian church in
his weakness.

29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with
indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
(See 2 Corinthians 11:22-33)

Paul focuses on external weaknesses. The Psalmist focuses on internal weaknesses.

Sadness
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
Psalms 42:5

Anger
Contemplation Retreat, Trinity Chapel, February 18, 2006, Doug Floyd
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Session 3, Crying
8 Let his days be few,
And let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless,
And his wife a widow.
10 Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg;
Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places.
11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,
And let strangers plunder his labor.
12 Let there be none to extend mercy to him,
Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children.
Psalms 109:8-12

Sin
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight —
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Psalms 51:3-5

3. Augustine teaches us the way of repentance

It is not about inward self-oriented focus. It is not about navel gazing. It is not about trying
to cultivate our spiritual life all the time (this can be dangerous and indulgent). It is about
beholding the Lord of Glory! God exposes our weaknesses, our hidden shame and offers
healing. He removes false strengths, so that we trust in Christ alone. (See Augustine
Handout)

4. Exercise – Take 45 minutes for this exercise. Slide show

Relax. Breathe deep. As you exhale let all tension flow of your body. God is present.
Simply wait and relax quietly in His presence. There are times when you will actually
spend the whole time just quietly resting before Him.

Acknowledge your desire. Acknowledge your need for His grace, His power, and His
Spirit. You might notice a gnawing feeling inside you similar to hunger. But this is not
physical hunger, it is hunger for God’s presence. Use this breath prayer as a way of
cultivating this sense of yearning:
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You

Contemplation Retreat, Trinity Chapel, February 18, 2006, Doug Floyd
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Session 3, Crying
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Psalms 63:1

Ask for mercy. As you express you’re longing for God’s Presence, ask Him for mercy.
He comes to us in mercy and grace: not because we force, but out of His boundless love.
As you breathe in, quietly pray, “Jesus.” As you breathe out, quietly pray, “Mercy.”
Repeat this several times.

Focus on His goodness. The Holy God on high is present. Using one of the Psalms of
praise (such as 145, 146, 147, etc.), begin to proclaim His goodness, His glory, His
lovingkindness.

Surrender. As you focus on His goodness, confess your desire to surrender your
weaknesses, your pains, your hopes, your dreams to Him. Open your hands upward as
an act of surrender. Now sit quietly before Him and listen. Let Him guide you to the
next step. He may stir you to read a psalm and meditate upon. He may begin to show
you some areas of your heart. He may simply want to love on you. If you don’t feel
prompted to do something, just sit there quietly. It may be that sitting silence could be
the most important thing at this time.

Journal. When appropriate make notes in your journal and return to the group.

Contemplation Retreat, Trinity Chapel, February 18, 2006, Doug Floyd
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