I recently did a survey on facebook for a speaking engagement in September and asked...
WHAT ARE 3 SMALL THINGS THAT YOU COULD DO NOW THAT WOULD MAKE A BIG POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE?
Last week we discussed the number two answer... being more thankful. Being thankful in all circumstances... finding God's grace and blessings, in every situation.
This week let's look at the number one answer... and it is no surprise...
We know we should do it. We know that it is not only right but very good and beneficial. But, many of us also struggle with praying!
What is PRAYER?
The bottom line... talking to God!
There once was a man named Nicholas Herman who lived in the Lorraine area of France in the mid 1600's. Born into poverty, Nicholas became a soldier to feed himself and later a footman.
He eventually entered the priory in Paris... too uneducated to be a cleric and took on the name of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection.
Brother Lawrence spent the rest of his days as kitchen help. Scrubbing pots and pans, doing tedious and mundane kitchen work, answering the call of his superiors, and in later life, even becoming a cobbler in the priory... repairing sandals. Such a lowly position... a life to go unnoticed!
But, Brother Lawrence possessed something...
"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament".
Brother Lawrence practiced the PRESENCE OF GOD.
"Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God."
So what can we learn from this lowly brother?
Prayer... it is an ongoing communication between each of us and the God of the universe. It is personal and real and authentic and common. It is practicing God's companionship... His presence in our lives!
When God tells us to pray without ceasing... He is asking us to keep communicating with Him... talking, listening, praising, thanking, asking, submitting, meditating... in our own voice and words and thoughts... throughout our day. Sticking close to our Father... making Him the center of our universe!
When I talk to God, I am often clumsy and my words are not magnificent enough for the One true God.. for I am so small. I struggle with how to ask "just right". I have big gaps of silence when I just don't know what to say. And I am often distracted by my own thoughts or the demands of the day.
But I know my God... and I can just picture Him... stopping everything to lovingly listen, ready to speak grace and love and truth and comfort and even reproof into my life. Hoping I will listed to Him too!
I can just picture Him, waiting patiently for me as I fumble with my thoughts and words and distractions... and my Father being ever so gracious and overjoyed with the time we spend together.... and wanting more!
After Brother Laurence's death his thoughts were compiled into a beautiful little book called
PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD. It is a wonderful and thought provoking read.
Practicing the presence of God... each day ... every day... all day!