“The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”
Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said.”
Yesterday I did what I always do. I sat down to begin my prayer time, and guess what? I had nothing to say. Nothing. No needs, no requests, no thank yous. Nothing.
What am I supposed to do with that? It was awkward. It was uncomfortable. I have a rhythm to my prayers that normally flow from adoration to petitions and everything in between. But not on this day.
Not knowing what to do, I just said, “Lord, I don’t have anything for You today.” I could almost hear Him chuckle as He said, “Finally! I get to say something!”
I am fully aware that I do all the talking in my prayer life. And therefore, am missing out on the best part, listening to what my Creator has to say to me. It’s really quite bizarre if you think about it. Here I am, in the presence of the Lord of the Universe, and never giving Him the chance to speak. I am ridiculous.
But I figure I am not alone. I think most Americans are uncomfortable with silence because our lives are so devoid of it. If we ever do find ourselves in a state of quiet, most of us quickly fill it up with tv’s, phones, music, or in my case – talking. It is as if the absence of noise represents something we are missing. And we can’t miss out on anything can we? So we have the conversations and the noise continually running around us and in our minds – sometimes even in our sleep.
How ironic is it that by surrounding ourselves with all these voices, we are truly missing out on the ONE THING that all of us desperately need to hear? God’s voice. It’s the truth. The one thing I need each day is to hear my Savior’s voice and feel His presence beside me. But I drown Him out with all the noise clutter I create.
Why would I do that? Why would you? There are probably a million reasons. However, I challenge myself with this question. “Is it because I am afraid of what He has to say?” Do I avoid letting God speak because I might not like what I hear? That would create a real dilemma for a professing Christian wouldn’t it? Maybe I keep talking so I can keep the dialogue within my own comfort zone…
I believe I have digressed just a bit. Back on point. I think it is good that I have nothing to say every once in a while. I need to open myself up to what He wants to say to me.
But how do we do that? There is an ancient tradition called, “Centering Prayer,” that teaches us to do exactly that; to quiet ourselves and allow God to speak. It is a wonderful practice once you get past the uncomfortableness of it. It is relaxing and calming, and takes away the pressure we sometimes feel to “keep up our end of the conversation,” with God. Centering prayer let’s us just BE and LISTEN.
If you are interested in trying it, the link below has a fantastic description of the practice and how it is done. I did it yesterday focusing on the word, “breathe” from the scripture above and it was an incredible experience of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
In this world of hurry and noise, you might find that it is exactly what you need. We might actually enjoy what He has to say to us. How novel is that?