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Prayer. I find it so hard. My mind is an insatiable rebel. Mind videos play over and over, and they are incessant. They sometimes make my quietness and silence seem a joke, a complete waste of time.
One of the wonderful things I am learning is that God always precedes me. I come to South-East Asia and God is already here. I speak to a person, any person, and God is already at work in their life. So it is with my distractions. Even there, in every involuntary feeling and thought, God is present. I have only to trust that God never leaves me.
Although my words and requests are still important, I try to balance them with being motionless and quiet before God. No talking. No agenda. No lists. Just being in God’s presence.
It’s hard to explain but this practice is gently and slowly, so very slowly, changing my day. St Teresa, a Christian mystic from the 16th century, says it like this: ‘The water is for the flowers’.
The water that God gives from this practice is … for watering the flowers (or fruit) of the Spirit in your life. What is beginning to change my day will, over time, change my life.
After a lifetime of so many words … my understanding of prayer is morphing from changing things to changing me. If I am to be Jesus to the people I meet (that’s the mission), I certainly need some changing.
This is an extract from an article in the October The Lutheran, first published under the title ‘God, are you bored yet?’ by Global Interaction for Resonate magazine and reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.
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