When we seek an ongoing relationship with God silence is golden, where we contemplate our communication as being a God-centered instead of a self-centered dialogue. Life is not about us, and it never will be. Life is centered in the will and love of God. After decades in Christian ministry the verse, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10) would help unravel the mystery of walking in a heightened awareness of the abiding presence of God in my life.
Our first encounter generally with God is through our mind and intellect, so we naturally seek intimacy with God also through our mind and thoughts. Mental prayer is the discipline of directing our ideas, praise, and prayers by faith through Christ to God.
However, the experience of many is our dialogue seems to be a one-way discourse on our part. Even though we are directing our thinking and thoughts toward God, we still feel we are not connected to His presence as we think and hope we should be. There seems to be a missing action of experiencing the presence and love of God in our heart. Though prayer begins in the head, the full expression of prayer cannot be fully known and sensed there.
There is another avenue of prayer that ushers us into the presence of God’s and deposits His love in our heart. It is a way of prayer that fosters a genuine intimacy that is God-centered and not self-centered with the Heavenly Father. It is a prayer that connects the thoughts of Christ in my mind with my heart and unites my being with His presence. It is an adventure beyond the limits of vocal expression, mental and rational prayer. It is prayer without the need for many words. It is prayer no longer focusing on our words or formation of words or upon us, but the focus is on the essence of Christ reigning in our heart. It is a prayer where God is our chief and only thought. It is the “Prayer of the Heart.”
The apostle Paul encourages us, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, to “pray without ceasing” KJV. The admonition to pray without ceasing has baffled the Christian church in understanding how to fulfill this exciting possibility. To pray without ceasing is conceptually the ability to have the continual presence of God in our hearts at all times.
Personally, I knew that hope in my head, but all my mental prayers ultimately failed at producing the desired result of “praying without ceaasing.” My prayers were self-directed seeking answers for my problems and struggles in life, but my all-consuming thoughts compartmentalized my life around me and did not focus my attention and thoughts upon God and ultimately others.
I am grateful in the silence I learned to be still and release all my thoughts that bounce around in my head and focus on the one thought He is God. (A Sacred Word Quiets my Mind to Pay Attention to God) I let go of the unceasing thoughts and concentrate now on the one thought of the presence of Christ reigning and making a home in my heart. I am now thankful for a God-centered instead of a self-centered dialogue with God.
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