All of our lives have been upturned. Our schedules are in disarray, our minds distracted by legitimate concerns and trivial time-wasters, our hearts distressed by losses and fears. C.S. Lewis warns there is a particular danger to our reasoned convictions about truth in the midst of all of this. Joe Rigney explains in his book Lewis on the Christian Life:
Imagination is often the main avenue for temptation. In Lewis’s mind, often “the battle is between faith and reason on one side and emotion and imagination on the other.” Imagination provokes our emotions, and our emotions carry out a blitz on our belief. We believe Christianity to be true based on good evidence, but then bad news, or danger, or peer pressure creates a mood that makes Christianity appear less probable. Or we want to do some action that God forbids, and we find that it would be very convenient for Christianity to be false, and so our desire to sin carries out a blitz. In these cases, we have not discovered new evidence against Christianity; our desires and fears, fed by imagination, lure us away.
How do we fight being lured away from our beliefs by imagination and emotions according to Lewis? Rigney continues:
[W]e must strengthen our convictions about the truth. We know that our moods will change; the blitz will come. So we have to teach our moods “where they get off.” We do so by holding the doctrines of Christianity before our minds every day. Daily prayers, daily reading of the Scriptures, gathering together with other believers—these are essential for the Christian life. “We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.”
There are many ways we can “hold the doctrines of Christianity before our minds every day,” but I want to suggest a particular strategy you can use over this next month to structure your day around communion with God. It’s a free guide by Trevin Wax titled Psalms in 30 Days: A Prayer Guide through the Psalter. He has divided up all 150 Psalms into 30 days of morning, afternoon, and evening prayer times, arranging them along with other written prayers and confessions of faith. Here’s a brief description:
Every prayer time begins with a call to prayer and includes the Gloria, the Lord’s Prayer, and closes with a biblical blessing.
The morning prayer guide includes a “confession of faith” taken from Scripture, the ancient creeds, or a recent confession released in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The evening prayer guide includes a “confession of sin” and a biblical promise of absolution to all who repent.
The morning and evening prayers also include songs from Scripture as well as written prayers from Christians through the ages, and a time set aside for you to intercede on behalf of others and bring your personal requests to the Lord.
Read the rest of what Trevin Wax has to say about his project, and then download the guide. I encourage you to use this opportunity to create a new, grounding routine in your life to keep you on track in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty we’re all experiencing.