[I will be back in full swing first of the week--just moved across country. I'll tell you all about it and how I have seen God's goodness in it.]
Every once in a while, you need to hit the 'pause' button and take yourself to a quiet place where you can pray and think ... praise and listen to God. Jesus went regularly to a solitary place.
David oft went to this place ~~~>> En Gedi~~~>
Folks like the idea of being alone with God but are often daunted about what to do. Silent retreats are trendy ... what to ponder when silent? Perhaps the following guide will be of assistance to you. It was the backdrop for a Night of Worship I conducted, where we gave God space to come and be with us; it was sweet.
First though...why pray?
These thoughts of Paul focus me: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4.6-7
Adoration - When I think of adoration, one verse sings to me: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created." Revelation 4.11
And then the psalmist's sentiments make my heart swell,
"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits." Psalm 103.1-2
~Sing praises to God; he loves it! Read Psalm 100
Add your own thoughts about God's greatness.
Confession ~ "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Beautiful words from Psalm 139
Psalm 66.18, Psalm 103.3, 12, Hebrews 8.12, 1 John 1.9.
How freeing, how incredible that God promises to forgive our sins and remember them no more.
Forgive us, O God, of our sins; cleanse us and make us new again.
Emptying of self ~ kinda hard for God to give us anything new if our hands, hearts and minds are already full of yuck.
Why not leave behind, dump whatever
we are carrying that is holding us back?
~unforgiveness, unmet expectations,
worry, guilt, anxiety, bitterness, failure . . .
And now we can hear...
Listening! Ask God to speak to you.
"I will listen to what God the Lord says..." Psalm 85.8a, indicating that God does talk to us! Can you like Samuel say, "Speak Lord, for your child is listening"? 1 Samuel 3.9-10.
What will God say to you if you are desirous and will listen?
Shhh .... Be quiet, listen now.
Asking ~ What do you need God to do for you?
~[Blessed is the Lord] who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103.4-5 Our God is loving and compassionate, desiring to bless us with good things.
In Jesus we have what Isaiah had prophesied: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisonersand recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free."
Isaiah 61.1, Luke 4.18
Freedom is Jesus' specialty.
Ask God for his touch on your life, ask him for your needs.
Praising and giving thanks. Seal your set-apart time with God with praise, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100.4-5!