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“For contemplation is nothing else than a secret and peaceful and loving inflow of God, which, if not hampered, fires the soul in the spirit of love.” – St. John of the Cross.
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“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
When I was a boy, I was taught that praying was mostly about reciting already-written prayers.
Despite that, I know that even as a child I was privately talking to God.
When Jesus was asked directly by his followers how they were to pray, he gave them a very direct answer, the one in today’s scripture verse.
And just before that, he said: “Go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Matthew 6:6).
Your inner room is metaphorical.
It’s your interior, your heart if you will.
(I’m no expert, but I’ve read that there were few if any “inner rooms” in the typical home during Jesus’ time.)
Not that using words in prayer is wrong, because speaking is part of any dialogue.
But I think we many times forget that the other half of dialogue is listening.
The other powerful point that Jesus makes in today’s verse is that God already knows what you need.
What if we simply sat quietly, closed our eyes, and rested in the Divine Presence?
What if we practiced what Jesus preached?
“Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42);
Lose your life to find it (Matthew 10:39);
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).
When we actually practice letting go and letting God, we are practicing wordless prayer.
This is contemplative prayer.
There are many forms of meditation including the Christian practice of Centering Prayer.
Schedule a time for it each day.
But know that you can rest in God any time.
Trust the Flow of God’s Grace.
Listen to the song of the day “Listen to Your Heart” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.
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Purchase my new book “Listen to Your Heart: A Daily Devotional of Calling, Purpose and New Life” on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Purchase my book “Mercy Reigns: A Daily Devotional of Compassion, Comfort and Healing” on Amazon by clicking HERE.
Remember: God loves you!