Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 30, 2013

quiet and prayerful

Quiet down before God, be prayerful before Him.

Those words taken from Psalms 37:7 in The Message sum up the journey, and struggle, that I have faced this week. In an effort to practice embracing God in each moment (after all I did write about it), I have been keenly aware of my desire vs. my struggle. It only makes sense to me that every Christ-follower would want to live with a quiet center and prayerful heart. Why is it then that so few live with ears in tune to what the Lord is trying to convey? My personal conviction is that the quiet center available to us is filled with noise (I battle the noise, do you?). We can all find excuses for the noisy and distracted lives that we lead, but when the noise and distractions cause us to miss what God is saying, no excuse is good enough. Is your heart quiet and prayerful this week?

My personal reading has taken me to a book called Thirsting for God by Gary Thomas. Really thirsting after God will cause redirection in anyone’s life. I find that seeking the Father slows me down internally, and fuels the desire for that quiet center. See if the following quote from Thomas’ book resonates with where your journey is currently.

Living a busy life is like running a marathon—we tax our ability to care, our ability to focus, our strength to manage disappointment, our sense of peace and rest. Consequently, we live on the edge of exhaustion, irritation and anger. We have to re-gather ourselves, guard our peace, and focus so we will be free to care about the things that really matter and fully give ourselves to the tasks God calls us to address.

Could those words be spoken of you? If so, you have felt that guilty tug when someone needs your assistance but there is little energy or emotional reserves to help. We are all human and subject to seasons that are extremely busy and taxing. But to live with noise, distractions and chaotic schedules that limit our listening to God and hinder our walk with Him is unacceptable. You and I can quiet down and be prayerful before Him.

In the book, Thirsting for God, there is another penetrating and very convicting statement that we all need to hear.

The spiritual life is impossible in a heart full of noise and occupation.

Our lives become more about fitting God in, and less about living life from that quiet center. The noise around us does not have to invade us.

Countless times, I have read of Jesus getting away and praying. Luke says: But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. I can imagine that those were special moments and times of refreshment. I need exactly that in my life. But oh how the distractions and noise become addictive. For me, it’s a choice: will I or won’t I live with a quiet heart, and seek to embrace God in each moment? How about you? There can be no greater indication of our need to fight the noise and distractions than looking at Christ’s pattern. He needed to get away from the crowds, and He needed to pray. None of us can claim lives with more noise and chaos than the Son of God. But listening to the Father was obviously important to Him. Could it be any less important for us?  I believe a quiet center is available to me; do you?

My goal in this post is not to instruct, but to relate. My selfishness often drowns out the voice I most want to hear. Recently I have been challenged to grow quieter, and embrace Him in each moment. Progress is slow, but I’m determined to have what is available to me. For me it starts in my time with the Father. But then there has to be a conscious choice all day long to slow down, relax and be a listener. I want to hear what He has to say. Your noise and distractions are probably different from mine, but you have them. Are you working from a quiet center, or just fitting God into your schedule (easy to do)?  My thoughts in writing this were skeptical – that no one would really take the challenge. But if there is one person reading this that is ready for a quiet center (and I hope it’s you), I am praying for you!


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