Last week I facilitated a Rest in the Moment retreat that has had me thinking a lot about the need to pause at regular intervals throughout the day for prayer and refreshment, something that to be honest I am not always good at myself. This prayer came out of my reflections.
What is your response?
Read through the prayer slowly allowing it to center your life and open your mind to be receptive to what God might say to you. Now I ask you to follow along as I unpack my own responses to each sentence and then sit for a moment and ask yourself: What is my response? What surfaces in your mind as you read through this prayer and sit in the presence of God with it? Write down what you sense God is saying to you. What responses is God asking of you?
Open yourself to the God who is present all around: As I sit in God’s presence and open myself to God’s movement in the world around me, it is the pain of the world that surfaces for me – the recent shooting in Oregon; the ongoing pain of my African American friends who face ongoing violence in so many aspects of the society in which they live, the refugees who are fleeing from violence and often exposed to violence as they run, those who are victims of domestic violence. There are so many painful and violent situations that come to my mind. I lift these up in prayer, aware of my helplessness to change the situation.
Take time to notice the markers of God’s abiding presence, rejoice in God’s activity in you, in others, in our world. It is easy to be overwhelmed with the pain, but where are the God sightings, the joy moments that assure me God is present? These are what I like to focus on – the young man who ran to overpower the gunman in Oregon and was shot as a result, the people like Leroy and Donna Barber who work constantly to help us understand and overcome racism; organizations like World Relief that work with refugees around the world. These are the markers, the sign posts that tell me God is indeed at work in our world.
Pause to acknowledge how far you have come on the journey towards life. My responses are so different from what they once would have been. Now I respond with compassion and I hope, the love of God, once I would have responded with fear, anger and judgement. I sit and thank God for the journey that has led me this far.
Hold onto the signs that point us onwards along the pilgrim path, leading us towards the still centre into the heart of the One who makes all things new. I rest today secure in the fact that God is still leading me. I know there is much in my life that needs to continue to change. There are many places in which my heart is still not aligned with God’s, but I continue to walk and I hold onto the signposts that direct me – the scriptures that continue to speak to me, the friends that support me, the strangers that make me uncomfortable in places I need to be prodded.
God is indeed making all things new and I am grateful to be a part of that.
How does God ask you to respond?
Watch the video below. Is there any other response God is asking of you?