Abi is a student worker based in Lancashire, who loves to drink tea and gin (though not at the same time). She’s a brilliant writer, loves to read and has a love for all things Disney. Over it all, Abi is passionate about Jesus and sharing his love with whoever she meets.
Q. How do you pray?
During lockdown, I’ve been on furlough which has given me time to try a few new things – a couple of books which have really helped me here have been Paul Miller ‘A Praying Life’ and currently reading through Pete Greig ‘How to Pray’. Some things I love are keeping an encouragement prayer journal where I can record prayers, words, quotes and answers to prayer to look back on, particularly in harder times, and remember how faithful God has been. Another thing (from ‘A Praying Life’) is making prayer cards – this started mostly out of my love of pretty stationery! I have a few nice cards for people I am praying for regularly (one for each person) with lines of scripture that I think really relate to them or a situation they are in and pray these things for them. I often find it hard to sit in silence in prayer but this is something I’m trying to do more in order to listen as well as just speak! My church has also been doing daily prayer meetings in lockdown, going through the Lectio 365 app, which I have found a really great start to the day and also just praying where I can throughout the day as situations arise or on long walks in the countryside!
I must say though that not all of these are by any means regular or frequent but also like I said I have been blessed with time in this season to at least try them!
Q2. How do you read the Bible?
Normally just in the mornings when I wake up sat in bed. I usually go through a book at a time (have just been enjoying the psalms) but again, there are lots of different ways that I’d like to try to shake things up a bit. I did a Bible in a Year plan last year for the first time which I really enjoyed and really appreciated the structure of not having to decide what to read next but this year some other things I’d like to try in my quiet times:
Reading through books of the Bible with commentaries.
Reading through larger chunks of narrative and just enjoying the stories (I studied literature!)
In an internship I studied a very small amount of New Testament Greek (with incredibly limited knowledge) but a Greek Bible and a dictionary, reading very small amounts, maybe a verse a day spending longer over each word, meditating on the words in their original language.
Reading through smaller sections, maybe a couple of times and perhaps even out loud, probably psalms or a couple of verses from a letter, praying them through or just reflecting and thinking about them (and hopefully those bits might come back later in the day!)
Q3. What’s your favourite Bible verse for this season?
For the last few years one of my favourite books in the bible has actually been Lamentations – it sounds like a curveball but the literature student in me just loves the structure and language and my favourite thing would have to be the centre point of Hope punching through all the dark right in the middle: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘the LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’”. (Lamentations 3:22-24). For the full affect, I would highly recommend just sitting and reading through Lamentations or even just chapter 3 to really feel the power of such hope in difficult times.
Q4. What songs are you singing at the moment?
There are lots of really great worship songs I’m enjoying at the moment and am blessed to be part of groups who have put together various worship playlists for this time but a couple of the potentially slightly more quirky things I like: I’ve been loving listening to kids worship songs recently because I’ve found they are just the best for dancing round the kitchen to (and also just contain some really profound but simple truth). A favourite in that regard at the moment would be ‘Ask, Seek, Knock’ by Hillsong Kids, recently introduced to me, a real banger.
I’ve also been enjoying listening to some Spanish worship songs. I have very limited Spanish knowledge but I find the language beautiful and I also think there is something beautiful about worship that goes beyond words and language. Some of these are songs I actually know (in English) and so can follow along but both of these remind me that the gospel goes so far beyond my own life context, is for everyone and is bigger than I can imagine. I sometimes feel like these can give me just the tiniest glimpse into what the party in Heaven will look like.
Q5. What is bringing you joy in lockdown?
So many things! I’ve enjoyed get stuck into our new ‘online’ way of doing church including helping to run a kids holiday club, enjoying quizzes and fun times with our life group and starting an alpha course this week. But mostly I’ve enjoyed relaxing and really learning the meaning of rest so we’ve got Disney+ which is a real win, I’ve been reading a lot more, tackling a jigsaw puzzle, very much enjoying the sun when I can and mostly have really loved discovering new places on longer walks with beautiful views and finding lots of fun wildlife on my way. I’ve also been able to get involved helping a little bit behind the scenes for a city support line which has been good. I think this time has taught me an awful lot about how really blessed I actually am, I have been seeing how lucky I am to have so many good gifts in my life and the chance to really enjoy them.
Thank you, Abi! I absolutely LOVE the idea of worshipping with songs in another language: a true taste of that no language barrier worship of heaven. Stay tuned for more encouraging stories of everyday faith next week with About Her.