How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
There is time in prayer and then there is time in prayer. Or said another way, there are times when we say a prayer to God and then there are times when we kneel in the presence of a loving, omnipotent God and bask in the glory of his light. See the difference there?
Too often we get caught in the habit of routine prayer. Even if we are following the model of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (or ACTS), we still end up checking the box and laying the grocery list of wants at the Lord’s feet and walking away.
Don’t get me wrong, God still hears us then and he values any time we spend in his presence because he loves us so much. I also think that we benefit from any time spent fixing our eyes on the Lord, no matter how brief or hurried. But there’s an opportunity cost lost when we make it too brief or unfocused.
The Lord sits there waiting for us with patient eyes, and invites us to lay down at his feet or into his arms as a child to their father. We can share anything with him. Our deepest fears, our darkest sins, our highest hopes, our greatest needs. He won’t mock us or make us feel silly. He won’t recoil with disgust or fear, no matter what we reveal because he already knows and he still loves us.
So the next time you set aside some time for the Lord, try this. Find a quiet time and place to set aside and say a few words of prayer, perhaps simply praising him for who he is. Then meditate in silence on what you just praised him about. Then put your personal agenda aside and let your thoughts wander. You might be surprised to see how God will bless you in those moments.
Now I’m not talking about hearing voices or some mystical supernatural fireworks. While I wouldn’t limit God and say that he “can’t” perform such feats, I don’t think he chooses to anymore. Of course, that’s a whole rabbit hole of theological debate that I don’t want to fall into at this point – so I’ll leave it at that.
The real point I’m trying to make is that when you focus on God and give him room to speak to you without your words getting in the way, you’ll be blessed because of it. And even if you don’t come away with any great revelation or insight, you’ve at least dwelt in the presence of the Lord, which is always, always, always a blessing.