Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May I Have Your Attention, Please!

When my family goes to church, I like to be early.  I like to chat with a few friends, then find a seat a few minutes before the service begins.  My husband can chat with people right up to the moment that our pastor steps up to the pulpit, but I need a minute or two to pray:  that the Lord would calm my heart, that I'd be able to keep my focus on Him, that my worship would be wholehearted, that I would hear what He wants me to hear.  He deserves nothing less.

With help from God, I can usually do that.  It's more challenging during my quiet times at home.  I can be easily distracted, and I need to work on being still.

"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

When I try to be still, my mind darts around in five directions at once.  I'm thinking about my to-do list, an ongoing situation, something that happened during the day, what to make for dinner the next day.  It's hard enough to focus when I pray, but even harder to clear my mind and just listen.  I'm working on that!


'054/365 Be Still' photo (c) 2009, Leland Francisco - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/In the meantime, however, God is faithful.  When I pray, I can sense His presence filling my heart.  Lately I've been asking Him to give me, in the moment, the wisdom and grace to handle a situation in a way that honors Him.  He does!  Certainly I still mess up and say or do something I shouldn't have, but that's generally because I'm just not listening.

Sometimes my favorite way to spend time with the Lord is with praise and worship music.  I turn up the stereo and sing along--without writing a blog post or skimming email at the same time.  That, I can do wholeheartedly.  In this, too, I can sense the Lord's presence.  Although I've recently read essays from a few people who doubt that the Bible tells us that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people, I believe that when we praise and worship Him, He shows up.


Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles to be still!  What helps you to focus? 




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5 comments :

  1. So we could go to church together. :) I like a few minutes to get still; my husband likes to talk with friends until the last second.

    I took your suggestion on the Jason Gray CD and got the mp3 download this weekend of "A Way to See in the Dark". Loving it! I listened to it yesterday driving back and forth to tornado cleanup and it really ministered to me in my fears and insecurities.

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  2. You are not the only one who struggles to be still, Melissa. Sometimes negative voices shatter any stillness or I'm too busy telling God my troubles or my way that I don't stop and listen to what HE has to say. Thank you for sharing this.

    I looked up the song Lisa mentioned and I so identify with the longings. "I'll reach for Your hand in the night when the shadows swallow the light." Amen. Oh, for that childlike trust!

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  3. Oddly enough, running - mowing the lawn, sewing...something slightly repetitive.

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  4. Oh my, the struggle to be still is huge for me. I find I have to get away from the distractions at home, take a walk or bike ride. I love sitting on a bench at the lake.

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  5. i have a very hard time...
    my mind is always racing...

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