|Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."|
I wondered this week why contemplative prayer wasn't the first part in the Prayer Course series and said as much in Lifegroup. I also shared that it appears I need to be backed into a corner by circumstances before I submit to God's will.
It was suggested perhaps I wanted to share a little bit about these things so here I am.
I'm currently going through a period of uncertainty and it's my first real opportunity since giving my life to Jesus to trust Him for the outcome. Unfortunately I started off in a panic trying to fix things under my own strength and though I've since come to my senses it's still proving to be a difficult time for myself and the family.
With God's perfect timing the prayer series has helped me focus on saying prayers acknowledging God's goodness, asking God to provide and submitting to His will over mine, where I'd have otherwise have been at risk from being overwhelmed with anxiety and worry.
In my relatively short time on this journey I've maybe taken it for granted that God listens when I pray. I knew I wanted every opportunity to talk with God even if only silently at first. I would often get distracted but kept practicing and over the past few months I've even gotten more comfortable praying out loud.
But then after the first parts of this series I felt a new passion for prayer and more confident in being able to communicate with Him in a way He would find pleasing.
Then last Sunday David helpfully pointed out that "contemplative prayer is a preparation for God's work through us", and Bart made a real point of starting the message with "God loves you".
I didn't immediately know why those things stood out to me but then it felt like a CALL directly to my heart.
Which I'll now use as a light-hearted segue!
I wonder if it might feel a bit like cold calling when we pray? Or maybe we feel as though we are reading from a script? Do we worry that what we say might not be what God wants to hear? Do we fear He might not even pick up? Does God screen our calls? Will my prayer go to voicemail? And if so should I call back later?
I think the answer to all those questions might be something like this.
God always picks up. Sometimes however when our will doesn't align with His, or when we rely on ourselves for a specific outcome, He may temporarily put us on hold, but He never hangs up. Because God loves us.
And perhaps when we are waiting for His response, He is working things for our good and teaching us valuable lessons along the way. Because God loves us.
And so we need to stay on the line exercising patience and trust, and for this we need a really strong CONNECTION.
And for me that's the power of contemplative prayer and why I've found it so useful. I've spent hours this past week just being still and experiencing God's presence at a time when I need Him the most. Because God loves me and he's preparing me for something special.
I just wonder if it might help someone else like it's helped me to perhaps revisit your prayer life by deepening your connection and relationship with God first.
Here are a couple songs I've been really enjoying over the past few weeks.
"Out Of My Hands" by Jeremy Camp
"Plans" by David Leonard