Sunday, May 12, 2013

Praying In the Living Room of God's Heart

Prayer chair, by the river in our backyard

To have a deep relationship with God we must spend time with God, and do this in a certain way. This is how it is with any relationship.

Linda and I have the privilege of talking with many couples about their marriages. Somewhere along the way we learned that we needed to maintain an intimate dialogue with one another. We learned that a good marriage is a shared marriage. One of the ways we sustain the marital fires is by spending time with one another - a lot of it, and in a certain way. Yes, we watch TV together. But every week of our married life (almost 40 years!) we have "dated." We go out to eat together.  And talk. This past Friday night it was eating Ethiopian food at The Blue Nile in Ann Arbor.

We also meet up many times during the week, both in our home and outside of it. Last week we rode our bikes into downtown Monroe and ate at Senor Cactus Restaurant ($5 lunch specials!) It strikes us a no-brainer that fruitful relationships require constant conversation. Spend much time, and spend it in a certain way, with one another. This is the Great Investment.

It's the same with God.

This afternoon Linda and I got to share lunch with our sons Dan and Josh. We value these times. It's Mother's Day today, and for Linda there is no greater gift than time together with the ones she loves.

It's the same with God.

I love how Richard Foster expresses this. He writes:

"God has graciously allowed me to catch a glimpse into his heart, and I want to share with you what I have seen. Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence. And he is inviting you—and me—to come home, to come home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we were created. His arms are stretched out wide to receive us. His heart is enlarged to take us in.

For too long we have been in a far country: a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation. And he welcomes us home: home to serenity and peace and joy, home to friendship and fellowship and openness, home to intimacy and acceptance and affirmation." (Foster, Prayer - Finding the Heart's True Home, p. 1)

"God," writes Foster, "invites us into the living room of his heart."

The key, he adds, "to this home, this heart of God, is prayer."

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