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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Connecting with God Part 2

Once you've found that special place to "escape" for a half hour or more, it's time to enter into the presence of the Lord and fellowship with Him. It often seems difficult to move from the hustle and bustle of a day with kids to the peaceful heart that is still before God.

The first thing I did was put in my earphones and listen to sweet, soft, soul soothing instrumental worship. My most favorite CD during those early homeschooling years was Quiet Moments of Instrumental Worship by David Bauer. It was very nice. I used some others, but by far, this was my favorite. The music is soothing, not intrusive. You don't think about the music; you can just be alone with your own thoughts with the music sort of calming you down as you begin to pray.

The next thing I did was open my prayer journal and begin to write out praise and worship to the Lord, sometimes praying it
 out loud as I wrote.

For me, these two things were vital if I was to have a truly renewing quiet time. The journal and worship were (and still are) without a doubt,
 indispensable.

When I write out my prayers, I can stay focused on them longer than if I pray without writing. It takes me longer to write out, "You are Holy; You are worthy of praise. Thank you, LORD, for all you have done in my life," than to just say it. Writing my prayers slows me down, slows my mind down, and keeps my focus on what I am praying. It also gives me time to really ponder and consider what I am praying, to allow it to penetrate my heart and still my own hurried mind. Otherwise, I'll prattle on for a little while and then start thinking about what I am going to make for dinner or when I'm going to get to Costco. Then, I'll never enter into that place of worship, fellowship, and revival with God.

Beginning prayer time with worship is the Biblical model Jesus gave us in the Lord's prayer. I have found that if I miss this step, my quiet time isn't as rich. I will praise Him on and on and I won't stop until I really feel more peaceful and ready to begin confession and supplication.

If, when I'm trying to settle my heart down, undone responsibilities or tasks pop into my mind, I write them down on a separate piece of paper—with full assurance that I will get to them later. I don't have to focus on what I've failed to do. I just write it down, promise to take care of it, and put it aside and out of my mind. The act of writing it down seems to help ease my mind that it will be taken care of, and I don't have to keep reminding myself of it. Putting it out of my mind is important because all those to do lists can
 interfere with my being able to connect with the Lord.

I hope this is helpful to those of you who are looking for a more rewarding quiet time. It really has been a blessing for me and is something I’ve continued even as my children are leaving the home.