For any of you who’ve moved away from home for any length of time you’ll probably relate to me when I say how great it is to pop home for maybe just a night or a couple of days… there’s food in the fridge, meals maybe cooked for you, a shower with a bit more power than the dribble in your uni accommodation perhaps. I don’t know what it is for you but I quite like it. What I also love about coming home is the number of books I find lying around the house… this morning I found a book of Celtic Daily Prayer on the stairs (as you do). So I decided I’d have a quick flip through over breakfast. And it got me thinking…
The book is full of daily prayers and meditations, repeated each month, that are a great discipline to have as part of our daily lives even to the point that when you remember the date of the month, the passage for that day is immediately memorable. I love this idea and reminded me of some stuff on meditation in Richard Foster’s ‘Celebration of Discipline’ (check out a blog from the other month with some thoughts on that…) Conveniently Foster also has a chapter on prayer (and he’s got some great stuff to say so lots of this is helped along by him!)
One really helpful thing Foster says in this chapter about prayer is this;
‘In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.’
and this is something that comes out of intimacy with God; when we know someone well, we can tell how they’re feeling, we know what makes them laugh, smile, feel inspired, know what they want… When I meet up and have a coffee with my best friend, she can pretty much tell my mood within a few minutes of sitting down. And that’s great- we can have real chats without hiding things from each other because we’ve spent time together and know each other so well. It’s the same in our relationship with God- if we spend time in prayer and do this regularly in our lives, not as a chore but as a discipline and privilege we will begin to love the things he loves and will the things he wills too.
We see Jesus setting an example in his life too. Mark 1.35 says;
‘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.’
Jesus purposely took himself away from the busyness of his life to spend time praying before the rest of the day (we know from later in the passage that Jesus and his disciples head off to preach for the rest of the day). He knew it was important and prioritised it in his daily life.
Let’s try this in our lives, set aside time to seek intimacy with God and grow to love the things he loves. What a challenge, what a privilege and what an exciting adventure!
And yet, once it is done, I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before!
(that’s from day 1 of the meditation by Anne Morrow Lindbergh)