The Journey Inward: Day 4 Devotional

Sitting still before God

Dr Katherine Thompson is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. This devotional plan stems from her books Christ Centred Mindfulness: Connection to Self and God and Christ Centred Mindfulness: Activities for Young People, published by Acorn Press.

The Journey Inward provides practical insights to facilitate the ability to sit still before God, using the contemplative writing of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle as a framework.

Day Four

Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”


Our problems, discouragements, self-criticisms, judgements and memories of past wrongs tend to take over our thoughts. They are like inner stories that keep playing over and over, like a scratched record player. Maybe you can relate to this, and might have some of these stories in your head right now. At their worst, they are mentally and emotionally exhausting.

When this happens it is good to stop and measure whether these thoughts are actually true or helpful. Have you considered that not everything your mind tells you is accurate or trustworthy?

With the help of God’s Spirit, we can start to test our thoughts. If we think they are problematic or not consistent with what we think is true, and they are not moving us towards being more Christlike, then we can actively take steps to distance ourselves from them. For example, if what our mind tells us does not fit with what we know of God’s love for us and how God sees us, then we need to reconsider whether the thought is reliable.

Take a moment to reflect:

Develop the skill of noticing the stories that are playing in your mind. This helps get some distance from them and takes the power out of them.

Give your story a nickname or label when you recognise the presence of these thoughts. This will help you take a step further away from them.

Say your thought out loud, or repeat it over and over until the words become meaningless noise.

Prayer of Faith: Ask God to take these stories from your mind. Simply let go of them and leave them at the feet of Christ, rather than holding onto them. This practice is not the same as trying to block the thought out. It is more about accepting that the thought is there and then letting God take care of it. From there we need to make the conscious choice to move our focus to something else that is more edifying.

Dr Katherine ThompsonIf you are wrestling with problematic thoughts, then you may find this audio file from Dr Thompson’s website helpful. Her Christ Centred Mindfulness books are available at Koorong. Additional resources are available here.