After church on Sundays, we are going to have mini-classes in basic practices of the faith this summer. Last week we talked about the stance of the Christian in silent awareness of God’s presence.
“Stop striving and know that I am God” is how the New American Standard Bible translates Psalm 46:10. Just be still. Be silent.
As a natural mystic I can say that is easy and practical. As a husband, dad, and full time minister I can say, “Good luck with that.” But what I want to tell you is how to begin. Little prayers are the fruits and vegetables of the spiritual life.
Just make a practice of stopping and being still for ten to fifteen seconds at a time, before you get out of the car, before you go into a room of people, or when you first sit down at your desk or table. Before you begin anything, just ask God to be present and thank God for what lies ahead, or ask for help.
In making a practice of quick but persistent prayers, you will move toward praying without ceasing and become more aware of your own soul at the same time. This awareness is life-giving, but also inconvenient.
We discover how much of our time and therefore our life is being wasted, misdirected, or just plain out of touch. Then you may find yourself slipping off to a retreat time or a journal to figure out the answer to the question we started with. “What is the state of your soul?”
It is the part of you that is going with you after you leave everything else behind. Are you building a better portfolio than a self? Are you able to offer a better financial or personal offering to your Creator?
Now is the moment to begin. Just now. Be quiet and tell God.