I spent the weekend tucked away in this beautiful place away from the chaos and kid-centered pace of my normal life. My mom and I went to a women's retreat together and it was a wonderful refreshing break. Each year there is a central theme for the weekend and the speaker gives four talks over the weekend on that topic. This year the topic was Prayer: Conversations with God and it was very much needed for me.
While I do pray daily I'm guilty of what so many of us are guilty of - briefly thanking God for his blessings and then listing off a whole string of requests for healing, provisions, safety, etc,. and then ending my prayer without pausing to hear what God says back. It becomes very one sided instead of a conversation as it is meant to be.
The speaker talked about finding that quiet space to talk with God. She said when she was younger her grandma told her that as a young mom (of 13!) that if she needed a break she would throw her apron over her head and that was the signal to the kids to leave mom alone because she was talking with God. Proof that we don't need to set up an entire room or area to spend time alone with God. We simply need to make it a point to focus on him and him alone. Jesus set this example for us time and time again when he would go off on his own, even without his disciples, to pray and seek his Father.
I've gotten myself into the routine of waking up early in the morning, even before the kids start making noise, to get out my Bible and read my devotionals. But after this weekend I realized I was spending more time reading other people's thoughts than spending time in the actual word. There is nothing wrong with devotionals but if I spend twenty minutes reading some person's commentary and then read through the verse one time and don't spend time meditating on it or praying about it to see what God wants me to understand then it's not beneficial to me.
On Monday morning I woke up and, as usual, went downstairs to begin my morning. I poured my coffee and settled into my chair with my Bible app. I still read my devotionals but I lingered on the verses longer. When I was done I turned off the phone and settled in to listen to God. I brought a few requests and thankful words before him but mostly I tried to stay quiet and not let my mind get in my way. I want to be a Mary, sitting at the Lord's feet and not get distracted by everything else that needs to get done that day (Luke 10:38-42).
I want to challenge you (and myself!) to make a point to carve out quiet time with God. Time to actually stop and turn off the other distractions of life and be still with him. I know it can be a juggling act to make time for everything that is important but shouldn't a relationship (meaning two way) with the Savior be the first priority? Wake up ten minutes early, keep the radio off in the car, don't automatically turn on the tv or pick up your phone when you have a few minutes to spare. Use those moments that you usually fill up with mindless or less important tasks as a chance to talk to God. I think we will both be amazed at the outcome from this challenge.
How do you get alone time with God? For you, what is the most challenging part of having a conversation with God?
I'm linking this up over at 152 Insights to My Soul for Three Word Wednesday.