“Seasons of Prayer,” shared in the GWAC Update over the last few weeks, is a small collection of devotionals focused on prayer.
We all need ongoing encouragement to develop and deepen our faith and our relationship with God.
God is at work within us constantly. He works to strengthen our relationship with him. He calls us to focus on the work he is doing in our lives right now. One way we are able to engage our hearts and minds in response to his call is through extended quiet times alone with God.
Extended quiet times are both biblical and helpful in developing an intimate relationship with God. God longs to be with you. It takes time to develop an intimate relationship with God. There are no shortcuts. Don’t rush. The object is to spend a relaxed, and uninterrupted time with God, letting him be your guide.
Preparation: Find a place where you can be alone and free from distractions. Bring your Bible, notebook and pen, and worship music.
Six words of encouragement: Rest well. Listen closely. Produce nothing.
Stillness: The words quiet, alone, and undistracted do not describe the vast majority of our waking hours. It is in this mixture however that God often makes himself known. God shouts to us through the glories of his creation. But when calling our name he speaks with a quiet, still voice.
The Lord treasures the undistracted hours he spends alone with his children. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31)
Rest: This is a gift that refuels, renews, and refreshes. Rest alters our attitude about everything. Taking time to meet with the Lord redirects our gaze off ourselves, onto him. During these precious hours of rest, we are off the hook. We don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to accomplish anything. We don’t have to produce, poke, prod, or provide anything for anyone. We can just be. We exist to receive from God’s extravagant love. We listen. We rest. We read. We journal. We walk. We go into each hour with no expectations. We follow no agenda, yet each time he tenderly and passionately renews our mind and refreshes our soul. Sometimes he offers an explosion of insight, other times his presence is like quiet, gentle rain. Each encounter is a unique, refreshing gift and no two are ever alike.
We need to learn to take the pressure off, and to remind ourselves there is no single right way to meet with the Lord. Some of us meet best with God when surrounded by trees, or sea. Others recognise the Father’s voice through liturgical prayers and predetermined Bible readings. Some sing and feast. Others are nourished through fasting and complete solitude. In celebrating this freedom we can jump in with both feet and an open heart, as we recognise that this quiet time is not about me and what I’m going to do to experience God. Rather this quiet time is about the Lord and what he wants to do in me, through the context of quiet and rest.
We give to God our praise and thanksgiving for his goodness towards us.
Thanksgiving: Psalm 100:4.
Still before the Lord: Psalm 46:10.
Consider who God is: Psalm 103.
Praise him for his attributes: Psalm 145.