Don’t Beat Yourself Up…. Just Pray!
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” —Psalm 46:10 NRSV
I don’t know about you but one of the most frustrating experiences in prayer for me is after pouring my heart out to God, sometimes I cannot feel God’s presence. I begin wondering if God was even listening to me, if prayer is just a waste of time. I have never denied God’s existence, yet there are times when I question whether God has written me off. I know that is not true, but there are times when it surely feels like it. And when I feel that way, I begin beating myself up for being unfaithful.
Yesterday while reading The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre, there were no bells or whistles. I saw no bright lights, no angel chorus—just a deep sense of peace. I felt assured that no matter how dark and thick the cloud cover, God does hear my prayers. This assurance reminds me the best is yet to come. I have come to realize that as important as the content and words of my prayers are, the time I spend with God in prayer is more important.
The greatest blessing in my life is not what God gives me in answer to my prayers; the greatest blessing is God! Prayer is one of ways we live out our relationship with God and one of the ways God becomes active in our lives.
Prayer for Peace
Ever-present God, forgive us when we wonder if you are there. We know it won’t be long before you assure us of your presence. Strengthen our faith; strengthen our resolve to work for an ever-present peace.
Spiritual Practice: Time with God
Sit quietly and let your breathing become calm and deep. Ask God’s Spirit to rest on you. See or sense the Spirit anointing you in the form of light, a dove, wind, color, or other images that might come. Ask to become aware of God’s love. Listen to the ways in which God wants to flow from your heart as living water. Give thanks that your name is “beloved,” that our name is Community of Christ.
Today, God, I will be still and know that you are listening. I will listen, too.