We are trying something new and once or twice a month bringing some teachings/thoughts/experiences and even discussion around prayer as well as the usual stories.
We hope you enjoy and are encouraged, inspired and challenged. Let us know what you think and we would love to hear what aspects of prayer you have questions about, struggle with or want inspiration in.
Prayer has never come easy to me. Speaking to God, discussing with Him whatever is on my mind in the moment all throughout the day – that has been part of my life for nearly as long as I can remember. But prayer in the sense of that quiet place, that place of intentionally opening my heart to listen, giving Him the time and focus He is so worthy of – that has always been a struggle.
Like many of you I’m sure, I have discovered rhythms to be the most helpful in developing that deep well within me where my soul quiets and my hearing sharpens and I am more ready to receive His words. Rhythms are similar to a habit but what I love about rhythm is that it is fluid, it can change when the seasons of life change. Or can it?
What happens when our lives are disrupted, especially unexpectedly disrupted and that faithful rhythm no longer fits?
If you have ever seen the animated film ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ then you will understand what I mean when I say that recently, when my rhythms were disrupted, my initial response was similar to Emperor Kuzco’s before he found his “new groove” – a bit grumpy and narrow-focused.
Fortunately God is a good, kind, wise and patient Father and Teacher and He has been helping me discover some fresh things about Him in the midst of all the disruption, reminding me that He simply delights in being with me and is not as concerned as to what that looks like as I tend to be. I feel like there have been a couple of moments recently in my failed attempts to be “disciplined” in prayer, that I have sensed His amused smile of affection over me as He whispers, “Crystal, would you lighten up? Stop being so intense. I just want to be with you, no matter what that looks like right now.”
One of my main frustrations in this particular season of disruption has been the struggle to find the space to really enter into that quiet place of listening and when I have had some time, my mind resembles my current chaotic life circumstances and just won’t stay focused.
Then someone reminded me of this beautiful encouragement from a man I have always had the utmost respect and admiration for – St Frances de Sales. He said:
“If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master’s presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.”
Something I am learning in this season is that sometimes life is what it is and is different from we have known or would prefer, but the Father’s grace meets us in that place of disorientation and speaks gentle words like,“Stop being so intense. I just want to be with you, no matter what that looks like right now in this season.”
So whatever season, rhythm, lack of rhythm you find yourself in right now, may you also hear the Father’s affectionate whisper of “I just want to be with you.”