I have always been fascinated with the idea of space and all the mystery that surrounds it. It seems we have always been drawn to the exploration of the unknown and though we were told that the sky is the limit, humanity has chosen to venture even past that.
It is crazy that we would even think about entering the vacuum of space. It is treacherous, unforgiving and deadly. Though, anyone who has been fortunate enough to have gazed out towards the celestial bodies while being surrounded by the vastness of what we call outer space, experienced something that would change them forever.
So much enlightenment has come from a place of complete emptiness. The only thing that protects anyone from the cold harsh reality of space is some high tech fabric. Space is so voidless and cold, that literally not even sound can travel through it. Think about that for a second. The vacuum of space is so empty and void that our very words would not only fall on deaf ears but be lost in the abyss of space.
As I was reflecting on the passage of Matt 7:7-11, this imagery stuck with me. Jesus says:
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
Two things strike me in the wording of this paraphrase: (1) If we know we are supposed to be direct and expect an answer from God and (2) we know God is loving and wishes to communicate with us, why does it seem so often that we hear or get nothing? Like our words are being lost in the vacuum of space.
Humanity, in many differing traditions and fashions, have spent centuries trying to tap into the divine or find higher enlightenment and has attempted to perfect the discipline of prayer and meditation.
So, if prayer is so important, why does it seem so hard?
Like many before me, I have been on a journey of seeking God's voice and learning this discipline. I am by no means an expert in this area, and in many cases find myself floundering when it comes to prayer and meditation. But I do have a few thoughts I would love to share with you. I hope my humble observations will be of some help to you.
If you are looking for a deeper connection to the divine voice of God, make some time to develop the art of hearing His voice
First, like anything worth it's weight in gold, it takes hard work. Well, at least at first. Like any relationship, getting to know someone, how we interact & talk (learning what they like and dislike) and becoming close friends, takes time and hard work. I have learned first impressions are usually dead wrong and my closest friendships have taken time and effort, but have been well worth every second of it.
Second, I wonder if we may be looking in all the wrong places. God can be found in some of the most unlikely of places and around any corner: In the whispers of a quiet walk near a river bed. In the pain of the loss of a loved one. In the face of a beggar on the street looking for his next meal. While sharing a coffee with a close friend who is ready to simply sit and listen. In your quiet time drowning out the noise of the world. In the pages of the Scriptures where God's story is revealed. He is where we are willing to see and hear Him.
Humanity, in many differing traditions and fashions, have spent centuries trying to tap into the divine or higher enlightenment and attempted to perfect the discipline of prayer and meditation.
So often, I think the reason why we don't hear Him is because we may have forgotten what it looks like to do so, or lost the desire to try, or perhaps we have built up walls and can no longer hear Him. We have lost the art of hearing His voice, but guess what, He even speaks to us in this place if we are willing to listen.
Can I encourage you? If you are looking for a deeper connection to the divine voice of God, make some time to develop the art of hearing His voice, do the hard work of getting to know this God who created everything and has been on a mission to repair the relationship that has been broken. Look deep into yourself and search what is blocking you from starting this journey. Find that special place, that spiritual pathway, the ways and places that God is looking to speak to you.
If this post has hit a chord and resonated with you, and you are unsure of where to start, I would really recommend both Brad Jersak's book 'Can You Hear Me' (There is even a kids edition for it) and David Chotka's book 'Power Prayer: Hearing Jesus; Spirit by Praying Jesus' Prayer'. Both these books are highly practical and will guide you on starting, developing and unlocking a deeper and fulfilling prayer life.
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