Take a month to get to know God more intimately

Day 1 - Welcome to the Detox Blog

On this blog you'll find resources for every day of your Detox. You can also use the comments feature to leave messages for each other about how you're getting on.

All this has been inspired by the ideas the Apostle Paul shared with his friends in Corinth, summed up in this little statement:
“let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Today, as we begin this journey together, it would be a good idea for you to think about and pray through those words of Paul, you can turn them into a personal prayer of devotion, maybe even a written pledge, from you to God.

Finally, you ought to think about finding yourself a 'detox partner' - someone you can share the highs and the lows of your detox with. It might be someone you already know well, or it could be a great way to get to know somebody better. You should try to meet at least once a week to pray and to share your detox goals together. Don't go it alone!

PS - you can click the image and use it as wallpaper if you need a regular reminder.

Day 2 - Letting Go... and Taking Hold

So, that's the first 24 hours over! Not so bad hey?

Today we'll think about our 2 detox disciplines:
Letting Go... and Taking Hold.
How do you intend to work these 2 things into your detox?

Here are a couple of key verses from the bible that have real relevance for us all as we consider this:

Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.

Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Day 3 - Meditation

Meditation is a key ingredient in a healthy prayer life. The bible as a lot to say about it. In the days ahead you'll find lots of little meditations on this blog that you can use to enrich your spiritual life.

Joshua 1:8
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer

Psalm 48:9
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.

Phil 4:8 NLT
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Colossians 3.1
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Day 4 - Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina means "sacred reading" and has four stages:
and contemplatio

In the lectio (reading) stage, you find a passage and read it deliberately. The next stage, meditatio (meditation), is where you ponder the text. In the oratio (affective prayer) stage, you talk to God about the reading, asking Him to reveal the truth. In the final, contemplatio (contemplation) stage, you simply rest your mind in God's presence.

Have you tried it yet?

MORE from Worth Abbey >>>

Day 5 - Visualisation

Jesus said: "Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light."
Matthew 6:22 (The Message)

Do you have a treasured photo album? Why is it so important to you? It's because of the memories those images trigger, the pictures springboard you onto a train of thought.
The great thing about the human brain is - we can 'see' even with our eyes closed - our mind can create vivid mental movies. And that's basically what visualisation is all about - forming an image that inspires your mind. It's a technique we're going to use throughout this detox.

Day 6 - Celtic Tradition

We'll be using a lot of traditional Celtic prayers over the next few weeks. Celtic prayers seem to grasp a sense of God in every part of life 24/7/365. They are often prayers of invitation - welcoming the Holy Spirit, they are prayers of submission - bowing the knee and taking His priorities on board - like this...

I will go in the name of God,
In likeness of deer, in likeness of horse,
In likeness of serpent, in likeness of king,
Stronger am I than all persons.

The hand of God keeping me,
The love of Christ in my veins,
The strong Spirit bathing me,
The Three shielding and aiding me,
The Three shielding and aiding me;
The hand of Spirit bathing me,
The Three each step aiding me.

Day 7 - The Vision

The Vision is a truly invigorating piece of writing. It's author is Pete Greig, founder of the global prayer movement known as 24-7. Click the links below to find out why this scribble from a late-night prayer session has become a mission statement for thousands of people all around the world.

LINK to The Vision Text>>>
LINK to The Vision Mp3>>>

Day 8 - More on Meditation

Five Tips for Meditation
1. Find a private place away from distraction
2. Sit in a chair with your limbs uncrossed, with a straight back, hands in your lap
3. Relax and breathe deeply at a regular speed
4. Close your eyes and visualise a scene
5. Use a simple phrase, repeat it continuously in time with your breathing

You may find it helpful to use one of the following Meditation phrases
* Come and illumine my darkness
* Be still and know that I am God
* God, be in my mind and in my understanding
* Come Holy Spirit and inflame my heart
* Maranatha - Come Lord Jesus

Day 9 - Psalms

Even though they were written almost 3000 years ago the Psalms speak powerfully into our present lives. This is because the literature style of the Psalms is mainly poetry and song. The words of the Psalms are some of the most heartfelt passages in the whole bible - Jesus himself quoted them frequently throughout his ministry, even when expressing the cries of his own soul towards God on the cross, listen:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Psalm 22:1 / Matthew 27:46
A really good habit to get into during this detox would be to read a Psalm a day - there's enough of them to keep you going for the next 6 months!

Day 10... Bees and stuff

A few days ago we considered the helpfulness of Visualisation in prayer and meditation. Try spending a few minutes getting inside this image - what does it trigger in your heart and mind?
>>> you can clic the pic for an enlargement >>>

Day 11 - Read this... out LOUD!

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed."
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I now live by presence, lean by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labour by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go until Heaven returns,
give until I drop, preach until all know,
and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own,
He will have no problem recognizing me.
My colours will be clear.

By Dr. Bob Moorehead in his book "Words Aptly Spoken" 1981

Day 12 - The Northumbria Community

The Northumbria Community describes itself as: Inspired by, drawing from, and living in the spiritual tradition of monasticism, the Community is... rooted in the history and spiritual heritage of Celtic Northumbria. Their daily rythms of prayer contain deep spiritual truths, try this one out today:

Northumbria Canticle

Christ, as a light,
illumine and guide me.

Christ, as a shield,
overshadow me.

Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

Day 13 - Augustine

Augustine lived in the fourth century. In his early 30's he underwent a profound conversion to Christianity. He was an amazing thinker and writer. He was one of those rare intellects that produces not only great insights, but does so with great beauty, just listen...

Man's Maker was made man, that He, Ruler of the stars, might nurse at His mother's breasts; that the Bread might be hungry, the Fountain thirst, the Light sleep, the Way be tired from the journey; that the Truth might be accused by false witnesses, the Judge of the living and the dead be judged by a mortal judge, Justice be sentenced by the unjust, the Teacher be beaten with whips, the Vine be crowned with thorns, the Foundation be suspended on wood; that Strength might be weak, that He who makes well might be wounded, that Life might die.

Day 14 - Songwriting

Quality songwriting is a dying art in church these days - especially songs that convey scripture to us creatively and memorably. You may or may not know this song, but it's packed full of bible refs. How many can you find?

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Now my heart's desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and know as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.

©1993 Graham Kendrick

Day 15 - Proverbs

The book of Proverbs is much more than just a collection of moral soundbites. It also contains great flowing chapters of wisdom for life which address readers' souls directly:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

As we continue this detox you might want to bookmark Proverbs in your bible, chapter 8 is really awesome.

Day 16 The Corcovado

Until now, we've only really considered the detox from the point of view of bringing a greater measure of Shalom to our own lives - which can't be the ultimate goal of this exercise. This month of detox must create in us a greater desire to be a blessing in the world around us. A fantastic example of this can be seen in the Corcovado - the great statue of Christ towering over Rio de Janiero - one of the world's most needy cities. With this in mind, here's a Visualisation for you today: If there was a Corcovado in Manchester, and you climbed it to look over the city through the eyes of Jesus - what would you see?

Day 17 - The Triquetra

The Triquentra is a symbolic form of the Trinity. All over Europe it can be found in ancient Christian artefacts. Here's a bible passage where we encounter Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a single unified moment...

Luke 3:21-22
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Day 18 - Anger

Just a very simple meditation for you today:
Anger dissolves personality.

Day 19 - Argument

Another one-liner meditation today, on a similar theme:
Argument is the lowest form of communication

Day 20 - Eternity

A little poetry for you to reflect on today...

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

by William Blake (1757-1827)

Day 21 - Confession

Confession is the completion of a work that's done in your heart.
When the meditations of your heart and mind have brought about transformation in you the first thing that will change is your speech. Keep your ears open toady and listen to what you confess about yourself - what does your own voice tell you?

Day 22 - Relationship with God

Here's an idea so deep you can plunge your whole soul into it today...
"Friendship is not the primary model used in the bible to describe our relationship with God. Worship is."
Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

Day 23 - I bind unto myself...

Here's another Celtic prayer to lead you on your way today:

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to hearken to my need

The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide, His shield to ward
The word of God to give me speech
His heavenly host to be my guard

Day 24 - Shalom

The bible describes the Kingdom of God as "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17)
This three-dimensional description can also be considered as a consummation of the Jewish concept of Shalom - the texture of the Kingdom. What could you do today to bring God's Shalom your little bit of the world?

Day 25 - Get Out There

OK, let's think about next weekend - what are you going to do with it? Have you been stuck in the city too long? When was the last time you got out into the countryside? Get yourself to the train station (leave the car behind - it's a symbol of your city life!) and jump on the next train to the hills! Make today an exploration of what it means to "Ascend the hill of the Lord"...

Day 26 - Praying Hands

This image is a close up of a statue which can be found in the Canadian city of Toronto. The statue honours a Scottish Martyr called Margaret Wilson who lived in the seventeenth century - she gave her life for her beliefs at the age of just 18.

Look at her hands, bound in the ropes that tied her to the stake as the tide came in. Allow yourself to be drawn into her prayer... what is she asking God?

Day 27 - More from Augustine

Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.

(Augustine, 354 - 430)

Day 28 - Moved by The Passion

This statue is a recent addition to the great cathedral 'Sagrada Familia' in Barelona. It is part of a dramtic series of stone sculptures which depict the suffering of Christ during the final hours before his crucifixion. The carving is not just an ornamental piece of art - it's a work of devotion. Have you ever taken time to allow The Passion of Christ to move you artistically?

Day 29 - One More Celtic Prayer


My soul's Healer,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
On rough course faring,
Help and safeguard
My means this night.
I am tired, astray, and stumbling,
Shield me from snare and sin.

Day 30 - Ring the Bell!

Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might.

Charles Spurgeon

Day 31 - An Apostle's Prayer

Here we go with the final day...
The Apostle Paul is a superb example to us of a person who was incredibly effective for God. The books of the New Testament show us how Paul entered a lifestyle of reaching out to pagan cultures, making great friendships and building strong churches. He wrote letters to these churches and in these letters always offered prayers full of passion and encouragement. Check this out from the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3 from verse 16:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in lovemay have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Well done!
Why not leave a comment sharing how you feel at the end of your detox?!