On one of Jesus’ visits to the Temple, he expressed His anger as to what the Temple had become. The gospel of Matthew tells us He said, “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'”(Matthew 21:13). He was frustrated that Temple had become a business within a place of worship and that the hustle and bustle were drowning out God’s voice.
The world around us is generally noisy, and with Christmas upon on us there seems no solitude from commotions. However, that does not mean we can’t hear God or find Him during the busyness of our lives. What it means is we need to be more intentional in our efforts to seek and praise Him. Maybe today, you can start by isolating yourself and spend some quiet time to hear God whisper to you.
With your body/temple, become a house of prayer today. Consider these steps:
- Set aside a minimum of 15 minutes (increase the time as you can). Set a timer to help you be less concerned about when you are to stop.
- Select a location where you will not be disturbed or distracted and then settle into a comfortable position.
- Intentionally place yourself in the presence of God – choose a simple word or verse of scripture that expresses your desire for God (e.g., love, peace, grace, Saviour, great shepherd). Let this word or phrase guard your attention.
- Take a deep breath and be silent. It is not unusual for your first few minutes to be filled with noisy thoughts about activities in your life, family, work etc. Don’t worry about these thoughts but try not to focus on them. Gently return your attention to God’s presence and love by repeating your sacred word or scripture.
- Rest in the center of God and trust the Holy Spirit who abides in the depths of your spirit to connect you with God.
- When you sense you are done (or your timer has gone off), take several minutes to come out of prayer. Don’t just end. Don’t hurry, but breathe in the presence of God. Offer yourself to God for the task that awaits you (e.g., say “I am yours” or “Remain with me”).
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him” Psalm 62:1