Today’s blog is from the book Pause for Pastors.
Conversations with God are not just ritualistic addictions or habitual duties.
They are not boring assignments. They bring awe. They offer delight. They are world-changing, life-changing, mind-changing experiences. They are phones from an inner life allowing us to hear a Voice. They are moments plugged into a Power’s mighty charger. They are segments of time saved with the Word from before time’s beginning. They are honoring a Name above all names.
Conversations with God are choosing to sit back—packed with awe, bursting with delight—and do nothing in order to do what matters most. Conversations with God are searching, pursuing, aggressively looking for the Hidden, finding what is so often missing. Conversations with God admit we are the needy and the wanted.
If you have lost the value of prayer, of quiet time with God, of noisy songs of praise, of silent reverence, of desperate petitions, pray that your Leader will teach you to pray. Do not delay. Begin. Slowly, honestly, and by choice, prayer can begin today.
See it not as a forced or required assignment. See it not as an action where you’ll be graded on the value of your performance.
It is awe.
It is delight.
Turn off the television and the computer. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t hurry or rush. Hush the noise. Push the to-do list aside and be still by His side.
Set up an appointment with God. Let nothing rob Him of your time. Think about God: His love, His acceptance, His forgiveness.
Sing. Smile. Walk and talk.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Good one! This can be soo hard to do – I seem to find it harder to do now. It seems my life is soo busy – so many things to do, esp on my days off and it is hard to concentrate because I have soo many things on my mind. I have to put a notebook beside me, because when I start getting distracted with other things on my mind that I don’t want to forget, then I can write them down so I won’t forget them. BUT… I ENJOY praying on my almost hour long ride to work & back. I sing songs and talk to God about my day-its an awesome time. My prayer and Bible time at home usually lasts much longer than it needs to because I get so distracted. Thank you for the reminder to set aside what needs to be done and spend time with my God. It is an awesome time and VERY IMPORTANT !!
I have encountered this theme again and again in recent months – or perhaps I am just acutely aware it’s what I most need. For several years, my husband and I lived in Colorado Springs and there was something deeply satisfying in the ability to quickly find a spot to appreciate the quiet and restorative qualities of nature.
Now, living in Jakarta, it is the exact opposite and it feels impossible to find a physically quiet space. I’ve had to cultivate an inner quietness that can bring peace even in the press of traffic and noise, noise, noise in a city of millions.