At this point in my life, it’s less satisfying to me to simply learn about God and more important to know or experience him. The way I understand it, prayer at its most basic is simply being with God in a way that is open and yielded, listening for the God who is always initiating, trusting that he is with me. Nothing is required of me, other than to just commune with him in meditative prayer. This is the prayer focus of the week, and it has become my way of centering myself in the love of God.
There are many ways to practice meditation, and I believe all of them are a way to inner peace. I’m not saying they’re all equal, only that peace itself is a gift from God. In the Christian meditation that I practice, meditative prayer means beginning with a scripture as my focus, and letting it work its way into the cracks of my life. It means setting aside my thoughts and interpretations and seeking to be still and yielded to his Spirit. In the stillness, I’m able to sense God’s presence and listen to what he has for me in that moment. This way of praying helps me feel the love of God not only for myself, but kindles the fires of compassion for others. I emerge wanting to love as God loves, longing for everyone to feel his amazing love for themselves.
As with all of the prayer disciplines, the goal is greater intimacy with God. Meditative prayer is a transforming way to pray. The result is that I am more like Christ. I can enter into it with the assurance that God “who began the good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Today’s prayer practice: Meditative prayer
Meditate on the following from the book of Joshua. Quiet yourself in body and mind, asking God to help you be still and listen. Set a timer if you like to free yourself from that constraint. Read through these verses slowly two or three times, then invite God to meet you in the stillness: “Meditate on this Book of Law day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8-9)
What stood out to you in your quiet time? Did you get a sense of God’s presence and love? Did you “hear” anything that felt personal? Why would God tie success to meditating on his word? Are there things we can’t hear if we are too much in the way? What is God’s invitation to you today?