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 do is put in my earphones and listen to sweet, soft, soul soothing instrumental worship. My most recent purchase was the album called Quiet Moments of Instrumental Worship by David Bauer. It's very nice. I have some others, but so far, this is 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 do is open my prayer journal and begin to write out praise and worship to the Lord, sometimes praying it out loud as I write.

These two things are vital if I am to have a truly renewing quiet time. The journal and the worship 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 for me to 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 my prayer time with worship is the Biblical model that 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 it 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.

Until next time!