“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Brother Lawrence
Praying without ceasing is one of those key instructions for the believer. But to live a life of continual prayer would mean living on our hands and knees forever, right? No, my friends. God created us to communicate with him. So, prayer is natural for us because God desires a deeper relationship with him, one that strengthen the bonds between us. A relationship where we dive in, and dig deep. A relationship where we tread upon shallow waters or raging seas. A relationship where we see His glory in the first bud of spring, or in the laughter of a child. A relationship when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or face a “Goliath”. Therefore, prayer is connection with the divine source – with our heart source; our mind source; our spirit source; our body source. When we speak to/with God, and listen to Him hope springs eternal. All the gaps in our lives are filled with Him. We receive the peace that passes all understanding. And so much more.
Brother Lawrence lived in a constant state of awareness of God’s presence. A prayerful life involves giving the sacred room to invade the secular. To become more aware of God, as a believer in every aspect of daily life. There is a sweetness knowing that God is, and that consciously having conversation with him we become more His sons and daughters. A prayerful life is also about being still and listening for him. So that the directions we take are in alignment with His divine purpose for our lives.
A prayerful life is finally one anchored in the reservoir of the sacred, where the trials and tribulations of the world are deposited, and we experience the matchless love of Christ.
Recently, I was involved in an incident with another person where several people were negatively impacted by words. In a rather loosely, and I admit less than clear attempt to communicate, I was met with less than kind words. This escalated when someone else attempted to coach and counsel. Their advice was refused. The person felt justified in their communication, and no amount of reasoning from the coach was going to changed their position. And now, their verbal assault changed direction from me to the coach. Surprised by the stubborn refusal to listen and learn, the coach changed his approach and left well enough alone.
I shared this, because we often feel justified in our communication methods. This is the way I did it, and so be it. They can take it, or leave it. I’m right and they’re wrong. Our stubborn refusal to seek another way leaves no space for healing, adjustment, or additional growth, ours is the ONLY way. I was reminded of that picture of Jesus standing at the door, knocking, and waiting for the other person to open it. However, the person in my story made the decision to clench both fists on the doorknob, clutching it so tightly that no one would be able to even slightly turn the handle. And taken it a step further, he barred the door, refusing to listen, confident his way was right.
Jesus encountered similar situations. He tried to reason, but once reason was rejected, He left. He demonstrated love, but when love was refused, He went to those whose spirits were opened. I came to those who need a physician. [para-phased]
Even today, He does not work where doors are barred, ears are shut, minds made up, and hearts closed. He leaves these souls to their own way. That’s not to say, there are not markers, signposts, guides, souls whose purpose it is to light the way. But each of us must be willing to open the door, listen intently, and say yes to the opportunity to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Him. Individuals carrying the seeds of hard-hearted-ness, (if this is the right word), will not produce the fruit of the spirit; will not produce a space for reconciliation; will not produce hope.
I carry no ill feelings, only feelings of forgiveness for one who has so much to learn. And as for my “protector-coach” I am deeply grateful to him for coming to my “rescue.” The lessons learned for me are to be clearer when I communicate, to continue shine a light, walk in appreciation and love regardless of issues and circumstances, and let divine love take care of the rest.