…or taking time to acknowledge God
Over the last week I have been doing something new in my spiritual practice, not asking God for anything. I have simply been taking time to acknowledge God.
It is ridiculously hard.
No, I am serious. I have never done anything this hard in prayer in my life. Spending time in prayer simply acknowledging who God is has been beyond difficult. You would think that someone who has been actively seeking to follow God since 1995 and is a “professional Christian” would be able to spend hours and hours simply acknowledging God.
Nope. I can’t.
Monday it was about 5 minutes before my mind and heart wandered to other things and people and concerns.
Tuesday it was about 2.
Wednesday, I didn’t even take time to do it because, “What’s the point?” Yes, I’m firmly Gen X.
Thursday, I figured I better make a bit more effort and was successfully able to focus on God and God alone for all of about 7 minutes! Victory! Or not.
This morning, 10 minutes, and in some sense I felt like I had just finished an hour working. Not a cardio kind of work out, but lifting weight with someone who was pushing me. I felt empty and completely filled up all at the same time.
That is the best I’ve got right now. Ten minutes.
I have been wrestling with why all week. I have been trying to hear from the Holy Spirit and what word of grace and truth was being spoken to me. I am looking to grab on to a kairos moment. A moment where God breaks in and enters my time and space. Kairos moments drive us to repent and believe. They keep us from getting stuck and propel us to grow.
Here is what I have discovered, I’m self-centered. Completely, utterly, and totally self-centered. In my relationship with God I am totally focused on me. If God were a human being he would walk away from this relationship. Nobody likes being friends with self-centered, me only, people. When it comes to God I am a taker and struggle to give.
You might be thinking, “But you’re a pastor. You’ve given your whole life to God, right?”
I may have given my best hours to serve God, but I am coming to realize that I have not even come close to giving him my life.
I take from God.
I take his grace.
I take his mercy.
I take his ear for my prayer.
Just seeing those things listed out and seeing the repeated “I” makes me sick.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” (Matthew 6:9)
This call to begin our prayer this way challenges us. It demands us to not be self-centered. We start by giving. We begin by giving to God. When we pray we are to start with God in mind.
How do I go forward? Continuing to practice an acknowledgement of God and try to become a giver in relation to him.