I can read a whole chapter in the Bible, word for word, and spend the entire time thinking about some totally random, unrelated situation. How does the brain do that? You’d think reading would take concentration, but my brain seems to split, words skimming the surface of my grey matter while my thoughts muck around, filling those places I want scripture to occupy.
It doesn’t happen when I’m writing, though. When I’m typing a sentence, following a thought on its trail to who knows where, my mind is fully engaged.
I have another weak spot in my prayer life, and that’s finding words of praise. I stumble and mumble, using archaic terms that feel phony coming out of my mouth. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing, considering I call myself a writer.
But then it occurred to me; I am a writer. Not a speaker. Hmmm…
Online I found a list of the attributes of God. What better focus for prayers of praise?
I copied the list to a word doc and put my plan into practice. It may not be focused praise, but it’s definitely drawing me deeper into my exploration of the character of God.
What does it look like? Here’s today’s effort.
The description I found online:
Omnipresent: This theological term means “always present.” Since God is infinite, His being knows no boundaries. So, clearly He is everywhere. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. These were even Jesus’ words of assurance just after giving the challenge to His disciples to take His message to the entire world. This is certainly a comforting truth for all who follow Jesus.
My rambling, semi-edited exploration:
If I say to you, “Cleanse my heart, oh Lord,” you will take that prayer, and in your position as omnipresent ruler of all creation, you will address my small, infinitesimal self; me - just one of the billions of souls who have lived, are living and will live. You will invest yourself into my situation. That you would care that much, that you would take the time… But no. You are not bound by time. You are infinite. After a boring meeting my friend often says, “That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.” But you, Lord, are not losing anything when you listen to my prayer, hear my petition, and intervene in my situation to teach me, grow me, refine me. It’s not a loss for you. We humans have to prioritize our choices according to time, energy, resources, and demands of others. But you, Lord, have no need to prioritize my prayer according to the prayers of others. You are omnipresent. Always available for each of us, any time we call on you. Because you are infinite, because you are sovereign, you watch us and watch over us, fully present. No wonder Paul said we should pray all the time!
Yup. Journalling my thoughts about God takes me to unexpected understanding, something I can’t do when my fingers aren’t engaged. Works for me! What about you?