Thursday, August 21, 2008


Prayer is a precious commodity nowdays in my life, and I've been blessed by two Michael Card devotionals on the subject. I thought I'd share a couple of them:

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer discipled a group of young men in a secret underground seminary during World War II. The regimen required students to meditate on a passage of Scripture for two hours a day.

After only a few days, some of the men complained to Bonhoeffer that their minds were wandering. It was unreasonable, they told the amused Bonhoeffer, to require this of them when they had so many worries at home. He told them to stop trying to fight it. “Follow your mind wherever it goes,” he said. “Follow it until it stops and then, wherever it stops, make that person or problem a matter for prayer. The struggling only leads to more noise and inner turmoil.”

I know I'm guilty of their rationale. If my mind wanders in prayer, I assume I am mistakenly negligent toward God. I never considered that God may be directing my wandering mind for the specific purpose and intent of enabling me to commit all my thoughts to him. For every thought to be captive in obedience (2 Corinthians 10:5). I guess that's God's logical antidote for worry. If I'm dwelling on an issue or person, even subconsciously, when I allow that to be brought in full light and attention into his presence, I recognize my need for his intervention and/or my active obedience to whatever his instruction may be.

The other thing of which I'm terribly guilty is doing more talking than listening in my communication with God:

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray,and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12

Though Jesus’ divinity possessed the very mind of God, his humanity continually sought out the Father in all-night prayer sessions. In the account of those sessions we hear very few words, so we can assume that there was much listening. But not listening for answers, for information. Prayer, for Jesus, seems to have been a time for simply sharing the presence of his Father, listening to the silence of his breathing. When his cousin John is murdered, he flees to the arms of prayer. When he is confronted with the conflict of wills between his Father and himself, it is precisely his Father he flees to in the garden.

Jesus’ life of prayer teaches us that we do not merely listen for words; we must learn to listen to the silence.

Silence is golden, unless we're waiting to hear from the Lord isn't it? I've always known that the most genuine friendships in my life are those in which, from time-to-time, we can be silent together in assured peace and contentment. Where neither is expecting the other to accomplish something, entertain, or even interact verbally. Why would I expect anything different from my heavenly father? Isn't he my closest friend and confidant? Can't he just "be" with me without having expectations imposed upon him, demands made of him and constant noise from my mouth interrupting our time together?

Help me hear the "silence of [your] breathing" Lord.


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,
Thanks for the blog, such a great reminder to listen to God while in prayer! I am Bridget I live in your old house in corsicana (so nice to know so much worship and prayer took place in these walls before us)I dont know if you heard about Ms. Marx... She took a bad fall and has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks now. I think she is doing better. Just thought you and Darin would like to know,glad I found your blog. Blessings from our house to yours. Bridget

Julie said...

Would love an update on Mrs. Marx if you have a chance. Thanks for your kind words and letting us know about her. She's been a special lady in our lives. Hope the house is treating you well. We had so many happy years there!