Esther Steward of West Des Moines, IA, USA
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. -Colossians 1:19-20
I’ve been looking out my window at the cold fall day God has so graciously given. The warmth of the sun hits the table and tablet on which I’m writing. I’m easily distracted, and my thoughts are interrupted by today’s “to do” list. I take some deep breaths hoping to return to the task at hand. I begin to pray for strength and guidance.
Life can get so busy with my spouse and children, chores to do, meals to prepare, places to go, events to coordinate, church services and sermons to prepare…and the list goes on and on! Sometimes, I have to be reminded to just “be.” This may seem an easy task, but as a “doer,” being still, meditating, praying, and reading are very difficult. I can get so distracted!
Remembering Jesus and how he always lived in the moment-unrushed, almost always even-tempered, and patient-I return to following in his footsteps. At least I try to!
What if I took more time to intentionally live like Jesus? I have struggled with this question for quite some time. It has led me to read books and scriptures, pray more, stop to enjoy nature and people, spend time in meditation, and listen for God in the silence.
It takes great effort to slow down and intentionally live more simply. I’ve been learning. I’m not as eager to rush around now, nor am I as attached to material things. I worry less about things that used to consume time, energy, and attention. God has slowly been drawing me to things that are more important-laughing with and loving others in good times, helping others in times of need, listening to music, praying all day long, spending time with the scriptures and other good books, enjoying people and the world around me, leading and teaching others, and living more like Christ.
I continue to work toward radical simplicity and a life balance-to know, be, and do all that Christ would have me know, be, and do.
I surrender into your love.
Set a timer for 20 minutes. (If that feels like too much at first, choose a time that will be comfortable for you as a starting place, committing to expand that time in future prayer.) Allow the rhythm of your breath to draw you deeper and deeper into silence. As you breathe, claim one sacred word (Christ, peace, grace, trust, etc.) emerging in you as an anchor to return you to the intention of your prayer when your thoughts begin to wander. Gently release the thoughts and images that come, making space for presence to the One who is with you here and now. Release, return, “be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10b).
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.