Monday, April 7, 2014
Following the format of "the Practice of His Presence" brings us to a week where our goal is to spend fifty minutes of time each day in our set-apart life with God. For the majority of us it has not been an easy faith commitment to keep. As Jesus was tempted in the wilderness to justify the short-cut, so have we been tempted. But, take heart in one thing. Satan only contests those things in our life which really matter. If spending a big chunk of time each day in His presence was easy, we would have started doing it a long time ago. Surely, the seriousness of the struggle underscores its value.
If adding ten more minutes to bring us up to a goal of fifty minutes this week is not really where you are, claim the movement forward you have made and start at that point. Regardless of where you are, this week invites you to be very intentional about adding some moments of engaging God in simple questions and listening for answers. This will require immersion in a period of quiet inner silence. If John who is struggling with cancer asks you to pray for him, do not assume you know how to pray. Forget what seems obvious and ask God, "Lord, how do You want me to pray for John?" And, then, lay aside everything but a heart bent toward God, embrace the quietness, and trust the divine response heard deep in your inner being. Do not rush the response. Listen. Learn how to distinguish between what you think best and what God is saying.
Of course, this whole prayer experience is based on a hard belief that prayer is dialogue. We speak. God listens. God speaks. We listen. At first it seems a bit strange to us. This is normal. But, trust the Holy Spirit who dwells and abides in each one of us. He dwells in us for a reason. Learn what the reason is and be thankful you are one of those in whom He chooses to dwell.