Set a feast of scripture before God Himself, so that He can dine upon His own delicious ideas. Like preparing Him His favorite recipes, pray His words back to Him. Each word He has spoken is powerful. Know the words of the Bible and use them. Memorize verses individually or just reread them over and over, then say them as your own. When He gave promises, state the promises as yours. When His saints prayed in the Bible, use their phrases. For example, use Psalm 91 for protection from evil by putting in your name and the names of loved ones who “Dwell in the secret place of the Most High.” In such a way, honor Him; grip hold of what He has spoken by imbibing in a meal with Him. What relationship can we enjoy if we do not listen to the One whom we adore? We all want to be heard. Even Jesus wants to be understood. When we pray back the words spoken to us,
Our Beloved Jesus told of a host who had guests, but needed food to give them, so he went to his friend at night when his friend was in bed asleep; knocking upon the door, he appealed for the friend to give him bread so that he could serve his guests. Eventually, the tired soul became aroused enough from endless knocking, that he gave the food to the obnoxious friend. Upon telling this story, Jesus told his disciples to pray with importunity. (St. Luke 11:5-13) He also told a similar story of a woman who pestered a judge for justice, until the judge became so fed up that he yielded to her pressure and gave her what she wanted. (St. Luke 18:2-7) We know these to be examples of importunity, but this is not a word that we often hear. What is importunity? We are called in these passages to literally be annoying to God. Pressure
Whisper some words of praise. Remind Him that He said whatsoever you ask, you shall receive it. Ask Him to come, confirm His presence, take over your time together; now wait. Breath. Listen for Him. If your mind wanders, with closed eyes imagine His eyes and fix yours upon His expectantly. Let spiritual ears listen for His voice; His breath. Wait; surrender; expect for Him to show up for your appointment. Wait in silence. You might feel the edge of heaven just out of reach. You may feel nothing. Be patient. There is beauty in silence. Your wait may be long or short. When you think that He is near, begin with whatever He gives you to say or do. Do not underestimate the value of the quiet. Within the quiet your neurons rest, thinking clears, health improves, the Spirit moves.
Beloved who has entered my silence to nourish me so many times, come to the soul who reads and tries this.
Music pours out to us like a fountain in the light. Each note can be a nourishing droplet that soothes a desert soul. It is a miracle. What if God had created a world without sound? Even if there was sound, what if we were without ears? Many things had to come together for music, which adds unique dimension to our pleasure and facilitates us connecting with others, including the Creator Himself. Music ushers us through our own maze to the veil of the Holy Place, then like incense, through the veil into His Holy Presence. Day to day our hearts grow tough with worldly concerns. A song can shift our focus immediately to a higher place. Our hearts soften in music like unfired clay softening in water. Imagine a passionate movie with lovely music. The melodic score is needed to enable the audience to feel. In the same way music prepares us to see and hear Him. Adding music to devotional time enriches your interactions with Him.
We have long heard how we need to care for our body because it is the temple of God. What does this truly mean, to be a temple? We also are told in His Word that He is in us. What are the implications here? I must ask, if He is in me, what kind of atmosphere does my interior home provide Him? When He steps inside, does my inner climate bring Him the comfort of being home? Is He the light glowing on my walls? Indeed, He has chosen us for a habitation. He says,
“This is my rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Psalms 132:14)
How restful can He be in here? Do I have unexamined problems piled in the corners? Is my anxiety disrupting the calm abode? How much do I welcome Him? Now do not despair; when asked, He loves to clean up the messy home and to bring peace to the troubled heart dwelling.