Thursday, 6 November 2014

Prayer & distractions

Just before we left for Florida, two people from my church told me amazing stories about how they had been prompted by God to act in a way that was totally unexpected. They had heard God speaking.  But in order to hear God speak, we have to be listening.  Paul Miller makes that clear in his book, A Praying Life; Connecting with God in a Distracting World.  Throughout his book, Miller weaves anecdotes about his autistic daughter Kim, demonstrating in very real and painful ways that our prayers are often not answered in the way we would hope, or at least not in our timeframe.  One of those prayers was that Kim would be able to speak, but that didn't happen until many years later when Kim learned to speak by means of a computer.
Miller encourages us to listen for God's voice, and he reminds us that "God is weaving a larger story" (216), of which we are a part.  There's a big picture happening, which we may never see (and that's probably true for the two people who I mentioned at the beginning of this post.)
Reading this book has been a joy. It has also been a reminder that prayer must be a priority in my life. One would think that a pastor would not have the distractions that others have - not true.  I couldn't help but think that it was easier for Martin Luther (the book, of course, mentioned his commitment to 3 hours of prayer per day) - Luther was a monk!
What a wonderful gift from my church, to be able to take a reading break, to quiet my soul in order to listen for God's voice.  

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