Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Be Still, and Experience God (Prayer Summer 2014)

Praying across from Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Be still, and experience God.

Hebrew "knowing" is experiential, not merely theoretical. Experience, not theory, breed conviction. "Do you know how to jet ski?" means "Can you do it? Have you experienced it? Has it happened to you?"

Experiencing God is found in heart-stillness. Heart-stillness is not synonymous with external quiet. You could be alone in a cabin the woods by a lake with the breeze gentling blowing the leaves and be noisy and cluttered within your self. The kind of heart-stillness that results in experiencing God is non-environment dependent. This is good, because it means that God's presence can be known anywhere. It all depends on our heart.

Years ago a good friend of mine went to a cabin somewhere way north in Canada to get alone with God. He needed to spiritually defrag. When he returned after a week I asked him how it went. He said, "Not good, the reason being I brought my brain with me." 

I got up at 6 AM this morning. I took my journal and a devotional book by Howard Thurman outside and sat on our deck. And read this:

"One of these spiritual practices is the practice of silence, or quiet. I was accustomed to spend many hours alone in my rowboat, fishing along the river, where there was no sound save the lapping of the waves against the boat... There would come a moment when beyond the single pulse beat there was a sense of Presence which seemed always to speak to me. My response to the sense of Presence always had the quality of personal communion. There was no voice. There was no image. There was no vision. There was God."

There was God, meeting me in the heart-stillness. Now.