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Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

Spiritual formation is the heartbeat of discipleship. It is a journey on which we deliberately and consciously open up our lives for a deeper connectedness with God.

I used to live in Chichester which boasts a fine Cathedral, dating from 1075. In 1244, Richard was appointed bishop. An orphan who had prospered in service of God’s church, Richard of Chichester was committed to living a life dedicated to God. He also encouraged others through a prayer made famous as one of the leading songs in the musical Godspell. His prayer is simple, ‘My Lord Jesus Christ, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen’. This is my morning prayer; it is the very essence of spiritual formation.

The challenge for each one of us is not what, or in whom, we believe. It is the challenge of living that belief in the circumstances into which life places us. It informs our decisions, determines our outlook and ultimately demonstrates our values. The good news is we are not left on our own. God works with us, just as the potter shapes vessels from nothing more than a ball of clay. Out of our ‘nothingness’ God can shape a life and a person revealing the glory of God.

We also walk alongside other Christians, companions and encouragers along the way. As Richella Parham says, ‘In short, Christian spiritual formation is the process in which believers cooperate with God and one another so that their souls are nourished and their characters are transformed into Christlikeness.’ (John 10:10)

Something to Consider: Reflect upon Richard of Chichester’s prayer, ‘My Lord Jesus Christ, may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.’

An Action to Take: Jesus was tempted and tested but above all, He demonstrated a powerful understanding of who He was, and what mattered most to Him.

A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, may I know You more clearly, love You more dearly and follow You more nearly, day by day.’

Used with Permission

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.