Thursday, August 13, 2009

Still Seeking God's Presence

How thick-headed can I be?

Just a few days ago, I blogged about how I, like the elder brother of the prodigal son, seem to be too into myself to enjoy God's presence. Yesterday, I blogged about the presence of God being stolen from the Israelites by the Philistines and from me by the busyness of life. When I blogged about the elder brother syndrome, I had a list of goals that I was going to put into practice to make sure I took time to enjoy God's presence. I implemented most of them--except the part about my petitionary prayers following a time of worship, repentance and thanksgiving.

Thank goodness God is faithful and patient. As I opened my Bible this morning, I couldn't move on to the next day's reading. I felt that I needed to think a little more about God's presence being stolen out of my life. It was only then that I saw the recurrent theme between yesterday's blog and the one before it! Again I ask, how thick-headed can I be? Obviously, God is trying to make a point here, and I have been pretty slow in figuring it out!

So, I put down my Bible and my journal and knelt at my little "altar" which is actually a coffee table that my dad made many years ago out of a wagon seat. I began my prayer time with adoration of God, and thought of all the ways he has been at work in my life. I worshipped Him for just a few minutes, and you know what, He showed up! How can you not love God and His presence. And why would I ever let anything steal it from me or take its place? (I don't know, but it seems to happen all the time with me.) I continued my prayer time with confession, thanksgiving and finally, supplication--my requests. When I start with worship and confession, then remember how God has answered previous prayers, thanking him for that, it's much easier to have faith for the new requests that I have now. Instead of begging and pleading with God, trying to convince Him to see things my way, I found my self presenting my requests to Him, trusting Him to answer them in the way that seems best to Him. Wow, what a difference.

As I finished, it was beautiful to see my dad's coffee table that used to be cluttered with magazines, newspapers and half-full glasses of pop, now holding my Bible, my journal and my tears.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!