Chapter 7 Prayer
“Worry about the things of God: truth, life, and light!”
Nouwen, Henri J. M.. Here and Now: Living in the Spirit (p. 104). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.
In today’s fast paced world, with everybody’s personal agendas, we don’t have to look far to see that some children and parents don’t spend much time together. Parent’s have plans and not much time. Kids have on headphones listening to music while playing games, texting, tweeting or snap-chatting one another. Sadly, when this takes place, children don’t learn as much from their parents. The family traits, how to problem solve, shared laughter all takes a back seat. Is it possible that we are that child in our relationship with God? Do our activities and the noise around us absorb our time and efforts leaving God in the back seat? Please consider more time in prayer during this Lenten season. When we spend time with our Father in heaven, we will learn as well as experience true peace through wisdom and love.
Our Father, help us to make intentional time with You. Fill us with the Holy Spirit drawing us ever closer. Fill our minds with wisdom, our hearts with love as we come with a hunger for true harmony in Your presence. Amen.
Please keep in mind our general questions while reading this chapter on Prayer.
Is there any one idea in the chapter that really reached me?
What is God revealing about Himself in this reading?
What is God revealing about me in this reading?
Where was the “bottle neck” in my past that kept me from realizing God to His fullest?
Was it a person, or maybe an event? Could it have even been me?
Upon realization, ask God for healing and an example of His perfect love.
Where am I “bottle necked” now in my relationship with God?
What can I recognize, or handle differently to increase “flow” in my Spiritual life?
In reflection of this week’s chapter, there will not be a lot of questions… only a suggestion to spend time in prayer. Plan and make room for it in your schedule like you would an outing with a friend. Pick a day and time to be filled with simple prayer. Maybe start with five minutes and work up to ten or more!
Marjorie Thompson, in her book Spiritual Feast, speaks to busy minds when it comes to spending time in prayer. “Inner distractions are more difficult. Saints through the centuries have offered colorful descriptions of how the mind, left to its own devices, functions: “like monkeys jumping around in banana trees,” or “swarm of mosquitoes” buzzing in all directions. The psychological term is “free association.” This is precisely why you need simple words, phrases, or images to help you concentrate on God’s presence.” Henri Nouwen suggests taking a few words from a familiar prayer like the Lord’s prayer… “Our Father, who are in heaven”… or beloved scripture “The Lord is my Sheppard, I shall not want”. A few simple words can help to keep us centered with the task on hand.
I’ve heard is said that after you tell God everything on your mind, when you run out of things to talk about… this is when the good stuff happens.
So, this week, please…
God cherishes time spent alone with you. I believe you will benefit too.