This year, 2011, my year of prayer, has already begun with a bang and with so many opportunities to draw closer to His heart. Where on earth did I ever get the idea that transformation, maturity, change, had to take so long? But then again, how can one spend time in His presence and not be radically changed?
And the first lesson I hear Him teaching me, gently yet consistently, is this: Stop.
Simple, but not easy.
My watch, it chimes on the hour, and I am reminded to stop, to slow, to pray. To lift up my heart to Him, to refocus my spiritual vision, to be present to His Presence. Sometimes though, I am right in the very middle of something and I think, in just a minute...
But that minute escapes, the time never comes to stop, I am always busy.
Before I know it, the chime is heard again.
I MUST stop. No matter what. As I do, I pray, lift up my heart to Him, name off things I can give thanks for, ask for direction. As I do this, God's Presence descends and my little home becomes holy ground. Joy fills the heart, and peace that passes understanding.
Of course, it is not only on the hour I must stop.
When frustrations rise up (and they will) I must stop. When things get heated and loud and chaotic and the voices that fill the air are marked with anger and hurt and irritation... This is not the time to speak. This is the time to pray. This is a time to listen for His voice.
Before I make a purchase, I need to stop. To pray, to ask for wisdom. Is this what You would have me do? Buy? Give?
All things I do and speak, all, must come from quiet places with Him. Deliberate time. It will only happen as I discipline myself to stop.
And He is always here, waiting to realign my spiritual vision, to make my heart aware of His presence, to make me tender and supple and gentle not callused and hardened and harsh.
For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. All these are mine as I stop to receive them.
Lord, help me to remember, help me to stop.