Our church recently began a prayer and fasting event. For 21 days prior to Easter, our participating church members are committed to praying as well as fasting from something in our lives (e.g., social media, spending, food). Whatever we give up is not so much the point as that we give that thing up in order to seek God and hear more clearly from Him.
I have given up TV after 8. Why after 8? Because this is the time of night when mindless, pointless shows distract me the most and consume the time I could be spending with God. As good as some of the story lines are, I am not really missing anything important. However, if I spend time away from God, I will most likely miss something HUGE! That is simply not worth the trade-off.
More importantly, I want to rekindle my prayer life. How easy it is to start skipping a night here and there and then realize you have skipped a whole week, then a couple. Conversation with God is easy to achieve. I talk at Him all the time, but the problem is I rarely slow down to hear Him.
I think it is interesting that throughout the New Testament we find Jesus sneaking off to have a conversation with the Father. I don’t think He had trouble speaking to Father God, I just think in the hustle and bustle around Him, He had trouble hearing God and so He sought out the solitude that is often necessary to achieve a back and forth with God.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 NIV
I can’t even begin to imagine the pressures Jesus faced in trying to get alone with God. Everywhere He traveled a crowd gathered. Not little gatherings of people, but hundreds to thousands of men, women, and children. I have enough trouble getting away from one husband and one child, but to leave a crowd …not mention the twelve men that had become His earthly family, that was no small feat.
However, when I am successful in finding peace and quiet, that is when I hear from God the most. When I let go of all the day’s events, the crazy thoughts running through my brain, and my trivial wants, I hear from Him. And I am always amazed that the big God of the universe speaks so softly, so sweetly, and so positive to me. Even when He is correcting me, only love comes across.
How God must shake His head at us sometimes as we run around in circles trying to figure out where on earth He is, only to realize He was right there beside us and we were too busy, too distracted, too noisy to hear Him. Can’t you hear Him say, “Settle down child!”
This week, find some time to get alone with God. Go outside, hide in your closet, take a long drive. Don’t let another week go by without making some time and finding some solitude in which to pray to God. Then, hush! And let Him speak to you. Don’t miss the good stuff over the small stuff.
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