Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40-Day Journey with the Daily Office

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40-Day Journey with the Daily Office

by Peter Scazzero


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Based on his bestselling book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, this 40-day devotional by Peter Scazzero is your guide to more intentional, meaningful, life-changing communion with God.

We all struggle to find daily time to be with God for the nourishment of our souls. This groundbreaking devotional is your key to resting fully in the awareness of his presence, increasing your self-knowledge, and growing deeper, closer to God.

Each day, Peter Scazzero invites you to the ancient and yet powerful spiritual discipline of the Daily Office, the practice of pausing morning and evening to reflect on God's work in your life.

In the midst of the hustle, we have to create interludes to re-center our hearts on the presence of God. For eight weeks, each morning and evening devotional will help you create that much-needed space for silence and reflection. You will be encouraged with thoughtful readings and questions to consider. And after each a closing prayer, you'll return to your day with a renewed sense of purpose and peace. This devotional is drawn from the bestselling book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and can be read as a companion book or enjoyed on its own.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day will anchor your life on the invitation to love God with all your heart, mind, and strength. In this guided journey, you'll discover the spiritual nourishment, joy, and peace that comes from meeting with God every day.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day is also available in Spanish, Espiritualidad emocionalmente sana Día a día.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310351665
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Series: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 152,333
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Peter Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial church with more than seventy-three countries represented. After serving as senior pastor for twenty-six years, Pete now serves as a teaching pastor/pastor at large. He is the author of two bestselling books—The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. He is also the author of The EHS Discipleship Course and two devotional books. Pete and his wife, Geri, are the founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, a groundbreaking ministry that equips churches in a deep, beneath-the-surface spiritual formation paradigm. For more information, visit emotionallyhealthy.org or connect with Pete on Twitter @petescazzero.

Read an Excerpt

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

By Peter Scazzero


Copyright © 2014 Peter Scazzero
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-34116-1


The Problem of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality


Week One


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Mark 11:15 – 17

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"


Jesus' intense anger and overturning of the tables in the temple courts ought to make us gasp. He knows that if we don't get to God, invaluable treasures will be lost or obscured. We lose the space where we experience God's unfailing love and amazing forgiveness. We lose an eternal perspective on what is important and what is not. We lose compassion. We gain the world but lose our souls (Mark 8:36 – 37).

Be Free for God

I have a need
of such clearance
as the Savior effected in the temple of Jerusalem
a riddance of clutter
of what is secondary
that blocks the way
to the all-important central emptiness
which is filled
with the presence of God alone.
—Jean Danielou

Question to Consider

How would you describe "what is secondary" in your life, the thing that might be "blocking the way" to experiencing God?


Lord, help me to see how much I lose when I lose you. My perspective on my life and all of life gets distorted when I don't make space for you, obscuring your love for me. Your love is better than life, and truly I long for more tastes of that love. In Jesus' name, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 15:22 – 23

But Samuel replied:

"Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king."


Saul, the first king of Israel, did not know much about silence or listening to God. Like David, he was a gifted, anointed, successful military/political leader. Yet unlike David, we never see him seeking to be with God. In this passage, Samuel the prophet reprimands Saul for doing many religious acts (i. e. , offering burnt offerings and sacrifices) but not quieting himself enough to listen, or "to heed" God (v. 22).

We all must take the time to be silent and to contemplate, especially those who live in big cities like London and New York, where everything moves so fast.... I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence — we need to listen to God because it's not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters. Prayer feeds the soul — as blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul — and it brings you closer to God. It also gives you a clean and pure heart. A clean heart can see God, can speak to God, and can see the love of God in others.

— Mother Teresa

Question to Consider

How could you make more room in your life for silence in order to listen to God?


Unclutter my heart, O God, until I am quiet enough to hear you speak out of the silence. Help me in these few moments to stop, to listen, to wait, to be still, and to allow your presence to envelop me. In Jesus' name, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:1 – 4

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me "

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up


Jonah is an example of a prophet with a case of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. He hears and serves God but refuses to listen to God's call to love and show mercy to Nineveh, a world power of that day known for its violent, barbaric behavior. Jonah flees 2,400 miles in the opposite direction, to Tarshish, in present-day Spain.

And why Tarshish ? For one thing, it is a lot more exciting than Nineveh Nineveh was an ancient site with layer after layer of ruined and unhappy history Going to Nineveh to preach was not a coveted assignment for a Hebrew prophet with good references But Tarshish was something else Tarshish was exotic Tarshish was adventure.... Tarshish in the biblical references was a "far off and sometimes idealized port." It is reported in 1 Kings 10:22 that Solomon's fleet of Tarshish fetched gold, silver, ivory, monkeys and peacocks.... In Tarshish we can have a religious career without having to deal with God.

— Eugene Peterson

As Jonah runs, however, God sends a great storm. Jonah loses control of his life and destiny. He is thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. It is from the belly of the fish that Jonah begins to wrestle with God in prayer.

Question to Consider

What internal or external storm might God be sending into your life as a sign that something is not right spiritually?


Lord, may your will, not my will, be done in my life. You know how easy it is to call myself a Christian but then become busy, forgetting about your will and desires. Forgive me for this sin. Help me listen to you, and grant me the courage to faithfully surrender to you. In Jesus' name, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: 1 John 2:15 – 17

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.


At the end of the third century in the deserts of Egypt, an extraordinary phenomenon occurred. Christian men and women began to flee the cities and villages to see God in the desert. They discerned how easy it was to lose one's soul in the entanglements and manipulations found in society, so they pursued God in a radical way by moving to the desert. They became known as the "Desert Fathers."

Society ... was regarded by them as a shipwreck from which each single individual man had to swim for his life.... These were men who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster.... They knew they were helpless to do any good for others as long as they floundered about in the wreckage. But once they got a foothold on solid ground, things were different. Then they had not only the power but even the obligation to pull the whole world to safety after them.

— Thomas Merton

Question to Consider

How do you hear the words of the apostle John today: "Do not love the world or anything in the world" (1 John 2:15)?


Lord, in order to be with you, I need you to show me how to "create a desert" in the midst of my full, active life. Cleanse me from the pressures, illusions, and pretenses that confront me today so that my life may serve as a gift to those around me.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Genesis 32:22 – 26, 30

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."


Jacob's name can mean "cheat" or "grabber," and he lived up to his name. He was manipulative, deceptive, and aggressive — not someone you'd likely nominate for a leadership position in your church Jacob was a seriously flawed person growing up in a dysfunctional family. He seemed to be either getting into trouble, just getting out of it, or about to make some more.

Jacob's story is so universal because it is so personal. Throughout his life, Jacob was stubborn and unwilling to trust anyone — even God. It was at the Jabbok brook that Jacob was finally broken by God and radically transformed. He was given a new name and a new freedom to live as God originally intended. This came, however, at the price of a permanent limp that rendered him helpless and desperate to cling to God. And it is out of this weak place of dependence that Jacob became a nation (Israel) that would bless the world.

In the same way, God sometimes wounds us in our journey with him in order to move us out of an unhealthy, "tip of the iceberg" spirituality to one that truly transforms us from the inside out. When these wounds come, we can deny them, cover them, get angry with God, blame others, or like Jacob we can cling desperately to God.

Question to Consider

In what way(s) has God put your life or plans "out of joint" so that you might depend on him?


Father, I relate to Jacob in striving, manipulating, scheming, denying, and spinning half- truths to those around me in order to get my way. At times, I too find myself serving you in order to get something from you. Lord, I invite you to teach me to live in dependence on you. Help me to rest and be still in your love alone. In Jesus' name, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21 – 23

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."


The apostle Peter had a passionate heart for Jesus, but he was also rash, proud, immature, and inconsistent. His impulsiveness and stubbornness are evident throughout the gospels.

Yet Jesus patiently led Peter to a crucifixion of his self-will, in order that he might experience genuine resurrection life and power.

When I am still, compulsion (the busyness that Hilary of Tours called "a blasphemous anxiety to do God's work for him") gives way to compunction (being pricked or punctured). That is, God can break through the many layers with which I protect myself, so that I can hear his Word and be poised to listen....

In perpetual motion I can mistake the flow of my adrenaline for the moving of the Holy Spirit; I can live in the illusion that I am ultimately in control of my destiny and my daily affairs....

French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal observed that most of our human problems come because we don't know how to sit still in our room for an hour.

— Leighton Ford

Question to Consider

What might be one way your busyness blocks you from listening and communing intimately with the living God?


Lord, forgive me for running my life without you today. I offer my anxieties to you now — as best I can. Help me to be still, to surrender to your will, and to rest in your loving arms. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Luke 10:38 – 42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself ? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."


Mary and Martha represent two approaches to the Christian life.

Martha is actively serving Jesus, but she is also missing Jesus. She is busy in the "doing" of life. Her life is pressured and filled with distractions. Her duties have become disconnected from her love for Jesus. Martha's problems, however, go beyond her busyness. I suspect that if Martha were to sit at the feet of Jesus, she would still be distracted by everything on her mind. Her inner person is touchy, irritable, and anxious.

Mary, on the other hand, is sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him. She is "being" with Jesus, enjoying intimacy with him, loving him, and taking pleasure in his presence. Her life has one center of gravity — Jesus. I suspect that if Mary were to help with the many household chores, she would not be worried or upset. Why? Her inner person has slowed down enough to focus on Jesus and to center her life on him.

Our goal is to love God with our whole being, to be consistently conscious of God through our daily life — whether we are stopped like Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, or active like Martha, taking care of the tasks of life.

Question to Consider

What things are worrying or upsetting you today?


Help me, O Lord, to be still and wait patiently for you (Psalm 37:7). I offer to you each of my anxieties and worries this day. Teach me to be prayerfully attentive and to rest in you as I enter into the many activities of this day. In Jesus' name, amen.

Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)


Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)

Scripture Reading: Psalm 62:5 – 8

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. (NIV 1984)


David, a man after God's own heart, beautifully models the seamless integration of a full emotional life with a profound contemplative life with God. He trusts in the Lord, pouring out his struggles, fears, and anguish over the lies being said about him

In The Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman summarize why awareness of our feelings is so important to our relationship with God:

Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality; listening to our emotions ushers us into reality And reality is where we meet God.... Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice.... However, we often turn a deaf ear — through emotional denial, distortion, or disengagement. We strain out anything disturbing in order to gain tenuous control of our inner world. We are frightened and ashamed of what leaks into our consciousness. In neglecting our intense emotions, we are false to ourselves and lose a wonderful opportunity to know God. We forget that change comes through brutal honesty and vulnerability before God.


Excerpted from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day by Peter Scazzero. Copyright © 2014 Peter Scazzero. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Introduction 9

Daily Offices - Week 1 The Problem of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality 19

Daily Offices - Week 2 Know Yourself That You May Know God 37

Daily Offices - Week 3 Going Back in Order to Go Forward 57

Daily Offices - Week 4 Journey through the Wall 77

Daily Offices - Week 5 Enlarge Your Soul through Grief and Loss 97

Daily Offices - Week 6 Discover the Rhythms of the Daily Office and Sabbath 117

Daily Offices - Week 7 Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult 135

Daily Offices - Week 8 The Next Step: Develop a "Rule of Life" 155


Appendix A The Lord's Prayer 175

Appendix B Breath Prayer 177

Appendix C Top Ten FAQs about Practicing Silence 179

Appendix D Compline: Praying Before You Go to Sleep 185

Notes 187

Checklist for the Emotionally Healthy (EH) Spirituality Course 208

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