13
Jan

God Isn’t Miked…

Mike

Thank you. I am humbled by your response to last Wednesday’s post. I actually have tears in my eyes as I type this because for a long time, I have felt “left out”–that I don’t fit in with the rest of the world, so when you tell me something resonates with you, it makes me feel a bit more a part of the world. So, thank you. And thank You to the God above who generally writes such posts. I merely put my fingers on the keyboard.

First, let me say that we are such little snowflakes in God’s universe that what works for me in prayer may not work for you. And that is the way it’s supposed to be! God wants so desperately to minister to your unique soul that my prayer practices may be totally wrong for you. So, all I can do is tell you what it’s been like for me and what I try to do regularly and then hope that God will direct you on your own path.

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on this journey, I realize that God has been preparing my soul to go on this journey for a long, long time. If I’m honest with myself, He started preparing me for it in 7th grade. Why? Because He knows I freak out easily! Thus, little by little, He’s been revealing Himself to me so that I now embrace the moments when He just blows my mind. So, my friend, the more you get over your fears of what He might say or do for you and with you, the more He will show up in your prayers.

I also had to let go of my preconceived ideas about prayer and some prayer traditions. I’ve never been much of a kneeler; now I kneel regularly. I was antsy with extended periods of silence, now I’m slowly starting to seek it. I used to revel in the latest and greatest Bible Studies. Now, I’m searching Amazon and Google for works that are out of print because they are that ancient. I’ll probably ache to find Moses’ tablets next! These ancient writers were on to something and many of them had the same hopes, fears, and cravings for God I now have.

Before the hubby I spent a lot of time at Catholic masses. Why? Because I grew up in Indiana and a good number of my boyfriends were Catholic. And I failed to understand why Catholic services, even in the 70s, were so filled with ritual. Now, I’m starting to understand. Thus, monks and nuns and monasteries are really starting to intrigue me. This, from the woman who adores innovative and unique worship services. Stunned? Yep. Me, too.

These texts and traditions will readily tell you that God wants to actually speak to you when you’re praying. Read that sentence again. Let it soak into your brain, your heart and your spirit. He has a LOT to say to you–about how much He loves you–about how unique you are and how He revels in that uniqueness. Does He see your sin? Oh, yes. But He still loves you and will only gently remind You of your sin for one reason: So you can spend more time together.

Read that last sentence again. Let that one marinate in your mind for a while. Your sin isn’t upsetting Him (He took care of that with that crucifixion thing, remember?)–It’s getting in the way. It’s a distraction. It’s a buzzing fly on the wall. It’s not essential. The more you sin, the less likely He is to show up in your prayers. That’s it. That’s all it is. So, the more you strip away what I call my “stupid sins,” the more He is likely to show up in my prayers. Am I less sinful now?

Um. No. Heck, no! I am irritated, annoyed and ashamed of my sins like you are. But, the more I succeed in changing my bad habits, the more He shows up. And all I know is that I like Him showing up. A lot. So, I’m slowly (emphasis on slowly) changing my habits.

Thus, last fall I realized that one of the distractions–one of my stupid sins is–get this–noise. Yep, noise. When the hubby is on the road (and let’s be honest, sometimes when he isn’t!) I surround myself in noise. I leave the TV on while I do my household tasks. I blare my favorite Christian rock from my car stereo as I roll down the highway. I even put headphones on while on a noisy jet so I can block out sounds that are too loud. I’m a “can fan.” What’s a can fan? Let’s suffice it to say that I’m probably deaf in one ear because of it.

Even when I take out the headphones, even when I turn off the TV, turn off the car stereo, etc., there is still noise. The heater makes a sound. The automatic ice maker dumps ice into its bin. The dishwasher and the washer and the dryer and the ceiling fan all make noise. And I’m uncomfortable with too much silence. (We’d be here all day if I described why!)

As Marjorie Thompson says, “God’s first language is silence.” Remember that story in the Bible where God said He would reveal Himself to the prophet and that the prophet should go and hide in the cave? Loud, dramatic weather roars past the cave, but God isn’t in them. Instead God showed up by whispering! Yep, whispering. God is not miked. He doesn’t generally use a PA system to talk to you. And His way of speaking can be more than just verbiage. It can be images, feelings, or whatever He thinks will let you know what He wants you to know.

My prayers, prior to Heartpaths, were largely me telling God what I was thinking and what I thought needed His assistance to change. But I wasn’t experiencing God in my prayers. Because even though I was silently saying these things to God, I was still talking! Hello!?!?

I am slowly learning to shut off ME in my prayers. It’s not easy, but God is in the silences. So, if you want to invite God’s love, God’s presence, God’s mind-blowing thoughts on YOU into your prayers, then you’re going to have to be really, really quiet. Quieter than you have ever been.

Point to Ponder 1: Right now, wherever you are, count how many different noises you are hearing: distant conversations, the heating or air conditioning system, refrigerators, other appliances and fixtures, office equipment, keyboard clicks, music–whatever it is. Right now (without the TV or music on), I can hear five and sometimes six different ongoing noises! If you’re reading this at work, you may get up to nine! Post the number in a comment to this post.

Point to Ponder 2: How many of those noises are up to you to control? Can you put the heating/AC on a different setting to shut it off for a while? Can you wear a sweater if it gets cold because of it? Can you live without the ceiling fan? (I suggest wearing lighter clothing, if you’re constantly warm.) Can you mute the TV? Whatever you can control, try to eliminate at least one of those. How does that lesser noise make you feel? Scared? Awkward? Weird? Sad? Acknowledge that by asking God to help you get more comfortable with silence.

Point to Ponder 3: Ask God into your present circumstances wherever you are. Ask Him to reveal what He wants to reveal to you. Even while you’re working or doing something else. Don’t be upset with Him if He doesn’t seem to be talking just yet. Don’t be upset with YOURSELF if He isn’t speaking yet. Just keep praying that prayer whenever you think of it. Be as honest as you know how to be. Particularly confess any fears you have about this! It’s okay–God already knows your thoughts. Half of them He put there Himself!

Friday’s Post: Maizie’s Favorite Surface

You Might Also Like: My New Adventure…

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

5
  1. January 13th, 2016 | Pam Patterson says:

    3, love silence!

  2. January 13th, 2016 | maryann says:

    Good for you, Pam!

  3. January 13th, 2016 | Miranda says:

    2.

    Absolutely perfect post. Thank you!

  4. January 14th, 2016 | maryann says:

    Awww…thanks, Miranda!

  5. January 14th, 2016 | brent says:

    4 I have a plan for a new place for personal worship. Thanks for the post!

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