Becoming a friend of God through continual prayer
Marriage can turn boring, and so can our relationship with God.
In the midst of a spirited discussion, my wife and I agreed we needed to reinvigorate our relationship. We had been married for more than twenty years, and most of that time we had been navigating our work lives and parenting children. Over time we had slipped into a pattern of being co-managers of our household. Most of our discussions revolved around not what was happening in our hearts but the commitments on this week’s calendar and who was going to do what. We agreed we needed to become friends again. Making that decision and following through on it has breathed life into our marriage.
Something similar has to happen in our relationships with God. Rather than treating him like a co-manager of our lives (which is wrong on more than one level), we need to give our hearts to him and become friends with him. (Luminous, 51)
Being friends with God means sharing each day with him. It is incredibly simple, but it requires lots of practice. And patience. In this year of training myself more deeply in continual prayer, I am constantly dealing with my own failure. But so be it. I am also more aware of God's grace.
This morning I read about an ancient monk who always seemed to have more insight than other monks. Monks from far and wide sought him out for his perspective on all kinds of issues. They attributed his incredible insight to the continual prayer he maintained, day in and day out. He had trained himself to cultivate an ongoing awareness of God and do all things to please God. As he communed with God in this way, he had come to see the world more and more from God's perspective. If that sounds like something only a monk could do, don’t be fooled. In fact, no one can stop you from living with an awareness of God and a desire to please him in this moment. And the next. And the next… And that's exactly how you get from here to there.
Note: Throughout 2014, my Friday posts will be excerpts and thoughts from Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus (IVP, 2013). My hope is that these posts launch you into the weekend in a Jesus-centered way.