Two small prayers for experiencing God today

We are half way through the Christmas season. Has it been a frenetic race or a 25-Day Retreat? The latter is absolutely within your reach. I will explain more later, but first a brief bit of setup. Yesterday at Sanctuary we talked about the two most fundamental questions of the spiritual life:
Who's the boss?
Who's in the center?
Sin pushes us to answer these two questions in self-centered ways. My favorite boss is me. My favorite way to arrange the universe is to put me in the center. It has been said that sin means being addicted to yourself. (BTW, going to church and being nice isn't enough to end that addiction.)

Fortunately, sin isn't the end of the story. Through Jesus, we have free access to God's great recovery program for self-addicts. In this recovery program there is one path. No shortcuts. No VIP passes. It's the one path to freedom and greatness.

God's one path runs through the same territory for all of us. It goes like this:
Through Jesus, I willingly and perpetually make God the boss of me.
Through Jesus, I willingly and perpetually let God and other people be the center of my attention.
You want to see what it looks like to make God the boss and put him and others in the center? Read the story of Gabriel visiting Mary in Luke 1. By agreeing to God's plan, Mary was going to give birth to the promised Messiah (great news!), but becoming pregnant before wedlock meant she was going to become labeled as an adulteress (not great news). She had to answer the "boss" and "center" questions right on the spot. Mary said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it happen for me as you have said." That might be the greatest miracle of Christmas!

You can follow God's one path with two simple prayers:
Father, what would you like to do right now?
Father, who can I serve right now?
Small prayers like this are the secret of changing the Christmas season from 25 days of hectic rat race into a 25-Day Retreat. I know first hand this is true. When I pray the "what would you like to do" prayer, sometimes God leads me to rest in him or worship him. Sometimes it's pray for someone. Sometimes it's do something to serve someone. The first small prayer often leads to the second small prayer very naturally. The more times a day you connect with God through small prayers, the closer you will feel to him, the more you will hear his voice, and the more you will hear his leadings to act out his love. That's what a 25-Day Retreat is all about. Try it!

Note: the "one path" I am describing here is explained in greater length in chapters 6-8 of Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus.


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