|Luke 18:1 "... pray and not lose heart."|
I was sitting in the Pilates studio at the gym during a break between clients. I pulled out my homework/books to make most of the “down” time studying (yeah right… down time… what is that?). This week’s assignment was about Christ and prayer. One of my textbooks is “Core Christianity” by Elmer Towns. In the chapter “Christianity is an Ongoing Relationship with God”, Dr. Towns writes
“The word for prayer (in Luke 18:1) is proseuchamai. It comes from two words – pros meaning toward and euchamai meaning the face. This defines prayer as a face-to-face relationship with God. Proseuchamai is the most used word for prayer in the New Testament, suggesting that Christians should have intimate conversations with God. Hence, prayer is not just asking for things, but rather prayer is talking to God and enjoying an intimate relationship with Him.”
That hit me – for as many years as I’ve prayed, from times of feeling like I’ve been listened to and heard God speak in my heart, to the times when I felt like my words were just bouncing off the ceiling – it just hit me fresh and new. God? Face to face with me? Especially after I’ve just come off my millionth let-Him-down-blew-it-for-the-umpteenth-time shining moment of shame? Still? This is so huge, and should be a blinding priority realization each day in my life… yet I’m ashamed to say it’s not. I forget. I cringe and hide. I get stressed out and juggle instead of hitting knee-mail to spend time with Him.
I began to pray… no big fancy noble la-dee-dah words, just gut-felt transparent no-frills mumbled whispers from unsure lips. I told Him I felt like life was just raining down on me like the storms we’ve been having lately. Weather imitating life. I felt limp, tired and exhausted from my soul on out. I just sat and tried to be quiet and still before Him. The next moments were little miracle blessings for me. The God of the Universe, Master of all creation and every atom and cell, took time for me. Outside the storms began – thundering and lightning and rain pelting down so hard you could hear it like horses galloping over the rooftop of the gym. As I listened, the aerobics class in the next room poured out a new song – Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”. I kid you not; I can’t make this stuff up. Then from deep within my memory the strains of the old hymn “Trust and Obey” rose… “trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, then to trust and obey.”
I’d been trying so hard to manage/cope on my own… trying to understand, to be patient, to succumb to the temptation to manipulate situations and make life work in my own power. And here is my Heavenly Papa, holding me and listening to the unspoken pain and confusion in my heart, telling me to stop, to trust Him to handle it in His way, and simply to remain obedient in my daily words and actions.
It was if the storm was washing away my tension, releasing me into my Father’s peace and calm. My Grandmother used to have a little Tiffany silver lapel pin that read “Let Go and Let God”. I smiled as I remembered it (and it's lesson) through misty eyes. I put away the books, sat a little longer just to be in His presence in that little corner of the studio, and let His blessing hug me gently, warmly… soothed and calmed by the God of All… my Papa, Who is never too busy to listen and guide.
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."