Tag Archives: God’s presence

Sunday Stillness – What is Prayer? LINK

Sunday Stillness – What is Prayer?

What is Prayer?

As I have spent more time with God the past few days He has shown me something I didn’t really know before. Well I guess I knew it but it didn’t really sink in. Here is the question I have been asking myself.

What is prayer?

I thought it was a conversation with God but now I think it is more than that. Reading from Oswald Chambers this month I came across this statement:

Prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God.

Wow – not just talking and listening but really being in communion with God. I like that. The more time I spend with Him, reading His Word – and thinking, and studying and really sitting down… yup sitting down with Him – then we get closer.

About 15 years ago when I first started my journey to learn about Jesus and God I drew a picture. Here is what it looked like. My fervent wish at that time was to move my line closer to God. Over these years I feel that has happened.

Getting-closer-to-God

And looking back in my journal from 2001 I found I wrote this. “I am ready for a full productive day.” And that was after time with God in prayer and study.

 

journal-page-2001

Now I don’t do it right all the time – or even most of the time. But sometimes, I feel like I’ve understood.

Just sit with God.

Slow down and take that time to rest in Him. He always gives me more than enough time to get “other stuff” done. And He even gives me help in ways that I couldn’t have imagined.

If you are feeling rushed, frustrated, angry, out of sorts – may I suggest you stop right now. Stop reading. Stop typing, stop everything and breathe in the breath of God. He will lower your blood pressure. He will stop the headaches. He will give you the peace you need and the strength to keep going.

Tweetable:

What is prayer? Is it talking or listening to God? Or is it more? (tweet this)

 

Today is Sunday Stillness.

JanisCox-photo2web

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request. Janis also is a contributor to Hope Stream Radio. Join her on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

 

 

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STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING
PLAYDATES @LAURABOGGESS
THE WEEKEND BREW @BARBIESWIHART
TITUS TUESDAYS @CORNERSTONE CONFESSIONS
THE SUNDAY COMMUNITY – #GIVE ME GRACE @SEE SPEAK HEAR MAMA
SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
MOTIVATION MONDAYS – @EMBRACINGHISWILL
SHARING HIS BEAUTY – @THEBEAUTYINHISGRIP

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Where is God’s Sanctuary?

Where is God’s Sanctuary?

by Susan Hitchman 

sanctuary

While I love reading Isaiah’s chapter six account of God enthroned among the seraphim, thresholds shaking and temple smoking at the sound of their worship, it is a bit otherworldly. It takes a great deal of focus to connect that reality with my pedestrian, somewhat mundane existence. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize we all want a temple experience. We want every sense thrilled.

We want epic moments. We want to feel fully alive.
We want to see God.
(tweetable)

Unfortunately, we have often made the incautious error of thinking the thrill of theatrics is comparable to the rush of the real event. We have embraced the credo of the tangible temple where we have enthroned ourselves, and thought it was the real thing. We have become devoted to thrilling ourselves with extreme sport, extreme fashion, extreme entertainment and extreme adventure. And those of us who have somehow missed out on those adventures look on a little enviously. Ever felt that way?

The Psalmist Asaph describes a similar experience (Psa.73). He admits, “I envied the arrogant”. Looking at the attractive lifestyles of the urban socialite of his day, Asaph admits yearning for the tangible temple experience too. “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure”, he bemoans. “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me.” Sound familiar?

Just as we begin to feel, like him, that God’s calling on our lives is too mundane, Asaph reveals his ‘mono no aware’ moment. He suddenly becomes aware of the transience of things material; “til I entered the sanctuary of God: then I understood…” In the sanctuary of God, we finally understand. There, all that is real and true and timeless falls into place.

Where is this sanctuary? For now, it is found in none other than our own hearts. There we enthrone the King, the Almighty One, Lord of our lives. How do we worship at His throne? Through prayer.

And as we pray, something amazing happens
in the throne room.
(tweetable)

Our perspective changes. Like Asaph, we begin to understand others better; we begin to understand ourselves better, and, by God’s grace, we begin to understand God better.  We see the self-enthroned adventurers as transient. We see our envious selves as senseless, ignorant beasts. And only when we finally bow before the true King in the sanctuary of our souls do we begin to appreciate the Great Treasure that is willing to abide with us. We begin to understand that earth has nothing worth desiring besides Him.

Isn’t it time you met again with God in His sanctuary?

 

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh

WHAT IS CONSTANT PRAYER?

Constant Prayer

by Judith Lawrence

God’s Presence

“All these [disciples] were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers” (Acts 1:14 NIV).

What does it mean to be in constant prayer? I think that being in constant prayer means that one is living one’s life in an attitude of prayer—knowing that we live always in Jesus and Jesus lives in us.  We continue on with our regular life, yet, we are constantly aware of God’s presence within.

This is a very freeing existence. There is no need to live our lives in a sombre or rigid way—we can live in a joyful and peaceful manner. We do not need to stare up at the heavens where Jesus ascended but can be present to our regular and ordinary lives where we keep in our hearts the knowledge that Jesus still lives with us and abides in us.

This is the life and knowledge to which we are committed and to which we testify. We are not left comfortless but the Holy Spirit guides us and leads us daily into the way we should go.

Judith Lawrence

Judith Lawrence lives in Muskoka, Ontario, a land of lakes, forests, and wildlife. She began to write seriously when she was in her fifties and has written three non-fiction spiritual books. Judith has also written a book of mystical poetry and one of short stories; she writes a weekly blog about contemplation and records a podcast meditation monthly.

HOW CAN YOU BE BLESSED IN PRAYER?

Blessed in Prayer

by Judith Lawrence

His Presence – Peace

“In prayer, thought returns to its origin in the infinite. Attuned to its origin, thought reaches below its own netting. In this way prayer liberates thought from the small rooms where fear and need confine it. …

The Divine remains the one space where thought can become free. There we will be liberated from the repetitive echoes of our own smallness and blindness.

Prayer sets our feet at large in the pastures of promise. When you pray, the submerged eternal melody in your heart rises from the silence to infuse with blessing your life and your friendships in the seen and in the unseen world.” Eternal Echoes John O’Donohue, Page 202/203

When we pray, we enter into the presence of God; into the place of our origin; into the space of our creation. Here we need have no fears for ourselves, for our loved ones, or for the world because here we are in the presence of God’s love and perfect love casts out all fears.

When we pray, we are given rest in green meadows and are led beside peaceful streams. In prayer we are given assurance of God’s promise that no matter what our concerns and repeated worries, God is ever present with us, in our lives, and the lives of others. God blesses us, enlarges us, and frees us from our anxieties that would keep us fettered and tethered to our darkness and blindness.

Praying through all things, we are lifted into the light and freedom of our loving Creator; we are surrounded by the eternal melody of God’s peace, joy, love, and harmony; we are borne aloft, totally united with God in the seen and unseen world.

Judith Lawrence

Judith Lawrence lives in Muskoka, Ontario, a land of lakes, forests, and wildlife. She began to write seriously when she was in her fifties and has written three non-fiction spiritual books. Judith has also written a book of mystical poetry and one of short stories; she writes a weekly blog about contemplation and records a podcast meditationmonthly.