Talking to God? In theory it sounds great – in practice its not very easy. Why? Well, we all have our reasons. I struggle because He doesn’t speak back to me in a loud booming voice. Sometimes I say, “God, could you speak up a bit?” I’m not being sarcastic – but it is the cry of my heart. It’s hard to hear His voice sometimes. Then there is knowing what to talk about…and feeling like you are just repeating yourself over and over and over again. Sometimes I feel like I should just go out and do it – rather than sit silently and wait upon His leading – especially because I have a hard time hearing Him. Of course, all this is extremely complicated for me because of my struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (which I’ve chronicled here). In any case, we struggle with talking to God – and yet in theory – it should be one of the most important practices of our lives.
If given the chance to speak with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, George Bush, George Clooney, Liam Neeson – or any famous person – wouldn’t we jump on the opportunity? Yet God begs us to sit and talk with Him and we are too busy, too distracted, or too bored. I’m not trying to make us feel guilty – nothing of the sort – I just ponder the irony of it. We are so eager to talk to one another, but someone who is so much bigger than us garners so little of our attention.
Well, I can’t claim my prayer life is amazing – in fact it is a continuous struggle. But I have found a website that has helped me significantly in my prayer life. It’s run by Irish Jesuits and its called Sacred Space.1Yes, I am a Protestant – yes, I think there is a lot we can learn from Catholics – and a lot they can learn from us. No, I’m not for compromise, but I am for conversation which leads to a more whole and healthy understanding of ourselves and God. I think breaking off into so many denominations and fractions has been a tremendous mistake – something reflected by some of our great church leaders who attempted reform within their respective churches, not by leaving them. When we isolate ourselves into groups that only believe exactly as we do we abandon our ability to converse and grow holistically. They offer guided prayer meditations. Its not liturgical prayers, it is suggestions on topics to pray and contemplate on. They help us remember to take time to simply sit before God, to praise Him for His goodness, to see His work in our lives, to repent of our sins, to ask for our needs, to learn of His limitless love. Its all done is a soft and beautiful way and takes only ten minutes to work through (though one could spend much longer). I highly recommend it!