A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Returning to My Thoughts

I decided very recently that it was time for me to leave the world of Facebook. It was a difficult decision, but one that I am living with for at least a month. After that time, I think I'll know better whether I should re-activate my account. It's sort of weird. Facebook tends to turn us all into voyeuers, participating vicariously in the lives of our "friends". Is that really how I want to experience my friends? I decided to leave Facebook when I was confronted with my own inability to NOT respond in some nasty way to a post that really bothered me. I strive to have upbeat, or at least deeply provocative posts...not posts berating or belittling someone else's point of view. Yet, I found myself unable to NOT respond in a way that I simply did NOT want to put out there. So, I left.

A good friend and ministerial colleague of mine questioned my motives. He asked if I was turning my back on a ministry that had uplifted and edified Christ. I don't think I have. I have other avenues for that sort of ministry, this blog being one of them. However, he asked me to pray about my decision. I am.

Prayer. Wow. Know this, right now: I am preaching on the topic of prayer in a couple of weeks. Be warned!

Prayer is our way of communicating to God, through Jesus Christ, our needs, our desires, our fears, our joys, our sadnesses. We tend to think of prayer as being a formalized list of things, prayed at certain times of day or even just on Sunday. Do you worry about "how" you pray? What words you use? Whether the grammar is correct? Prayer is kind. Prayer is accepting. Prayer is a conversation with God, with your closest friend, with the kind of friend who can finish your sentences.

Prayer is on-going, fluid, merciful, and kind.

Yes. Prayer is kind. Prayer is accepting. Prayer is...dare I say it...easy! We are told that the Spirit carries our prayers which are too deep and dark for words with sighs and groans straight to God's ear. When was the last time you spent your night balled into the fetal position, crying out to God (whom you believed had deserted you), asking for help, asking for answers, asking for the safety of the night? Did you feel any sense of response? Did you feel God's arms around you?

Was there silence when you finished?

Any ideas on why there might have been silence?

Could silence be part of the answer to your prayer? Could God be waiting on you to show the willingness to participate in the answer?

There are some prayers that I DO NOT WANT God to expect me to participate in. There are some prayers I just want GOD to do that "thing" and flip a switch or somehow make it easier on me...immediately!

How about you?

I have found that rarely, if ever, does God answer my prayers within minutes. Really. I am a 50 year old woman. I know all about the vagaries of instant gratification. I know all about the benefits of delayed gratification and the education in appreciation and gratitude that delayed gratification offers. However, that said and all, I would much rather receive the answers to my prayers now, please, and easily if at all possible.

How about you?

I know that God is in the world today. Absolutely. I know that God hears me when I ask for help. I know these things because I see the evidence every day of my life! I know these things because I am aware. I know these things because God has made me wait for the answers at times. God has made me participate and BE the answers sometimes.

How about you?

Where is your prayer life leading you?
Where is your prayer life leaving you?
Where is your prayer life taking you?

Shalom, friends.

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