I have neglected blogging lately. I keep thinking I’ll find time … and time eludes me. I return tonight because I need to clarify my thoughts. I’ve been hammering on God’s door about a particular request. My prayer life has been erratic, but this one prayer keeps popping up daily, with great passion. As the words pour forth, I sense the Spirit saying, “Trust me!” My response to the Spirit is, “Yes, I trust you and all at the same time I don’t!” Sunday, our pastor mentioned a prayer in the Bible from Mark 9, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” That’s me!
I’m reminded tonight of a previous post on prayer … when I had been revisiting a favorite book on the shelf. The book is The Path of Blessing by Marcia Prager, a Jewish rabbi. In the book she is teaching about the Jewish blessing. She makes this note in her introduction:
A simple Hebrew blessing is a powerful thing – a one-minute, deeply meditative exercise exploring the nature of the Creative Force we call God and the dynamic relationship between God, human consciousness, and the unfolding universe. … Blessing offers us a personal consciousness-raising practice … through the practice of blessing we develop an ever deepening receptivity to the abundant love and joy flowing through Creation.
Her words reminded me of Brother Lawrence and his treatise on practicing the presence of God. Brother Lawrence writes in a letter,
I worshipped Him the oftenest I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. I made this my business not only at the appointed times of prayer but all the time; every hour, every minute, even in the height of my work. I drove from my mind everything that interrupted my thoughts of God.
Paul, in the New Testament, exhorts us to pray without ceasing. It’s this continual, constant, practicing the presence of God that I want to develop. Some days are better than others – <smile> – some days the camaraderie, the intimacy of conversation is more constant, comforting, joyful. Other days are bleak, dry.
Peterson paraphrases Jeremiah 29:13-14 in The Message … “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
Consciousness-raising, ever deepening receptivity, my goal … practicing the presence the God … he is here … he doesn’t disappoint. And I trust him! I do, I really do!