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Soul prayer – How does one do soul work?

A couple weeks back, I talked about your “soul system” in the blog post: “Why Are We Drawn to Personality Tests?

To remind you the “soul system” is the part of the spiritual anatomy that represents one’s true identity.

As I said then, sometimes, talking about your “soul” can feel very abstract and removed from reality. And there’s a good reason for that. Your soul is a vast ocean. It’s where you commune deeply with God. More than that, it’s where he teaches you about who He is and who you are.

There’s something undeniably unsettling about that depth. And yet, your soul is where your visions and dreams are born. It’s where your purpose and calling come alive.

I ended that post with an invitation for you to consider soul work. However, you might be wondering, “What exactly is ‘soul work’?”

Nourishing and integrating your soul involves making room for God to speak and to make himself known to you.

Jesus promised that if we draw near to Him, he will speak to us (John 10:27; James 4:8). It is in your soul that God meets with you about the things you are experiencing.

This can look like God showing you how he will use your circumstances to shape you. Other times, He may reveal something about His character through your experiences. Whatever the case, you are making space for God’s voice in your soul to transform your experiences so that life is rich with vision, meaning, and purpose.

One of the ways to do this is through soul prayer. Soul prayer tends to be less active and involves more listening than speaking. You ask God questions and then wait for the visions, impressions, or promptings of his gentle response. You may choose to use a journal when engaging in soul prayer so you can capture what you sense God saying.

There are many established methods of soul prayer or listening prayer that you can experiment with, including Lectio Divinacentering prayer, and contemplative prayer.

If you want further resources as you dive in, I recommend Thomas Keating’s book The Better Part and Richard Foster’s classic work Celebration of Discipline.

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