Y’all remember the theme song to the Beverly Hillibillies? Ok, so I am really dating myself here….but the song ends with the line, ‘Y’all come back now, y’hear?’ I’m not sure what the attraction to y’all is, since I am a New Englander, but it’s evident that the song ends with an invitation. Prayer ends the same way.
I have recently realized that my struggle is not so much in the ‘listening’ facet of prayer. My difficulty lies in the slowing down element which is so necessary for prayer. I know that we can pray throughout the day, and can pray while we do almost anything, but there is something special in those quiet times when we can just sit, sit, love and be loved. When the busyness ceases and we sit and ‘be’ instead of run and ‘do’. It is then when we are still that we open wide the heart and receive theDivine Invitation. The invitation to be one with the world, each other, and the Divine. The invitation to be who we are, our true selves. The invitation to let go of the ego, the pride, the false self. The invitation to receive the love that is offered unconditionally to us as we are, not as we could or should be.
Now, who could ever refuse an invitation such as that? Think about it, what would be the best ‘earthly’ invitation that you could ever want to receive? Whatever it is, you would probably need to prepare, shop, primp, lose ten pounds for, etc., etc. in order to be ready for it. The Divine Invitation asks you to ‘come as you are.’ You are good enough, in fact, you are perfect, ‘because you are Mine.’ Now, that’s one invitation that merits an RSVP!
And, at the end of the invitation….another is extended…..
Y’all come back now, y’hear?
How challenging it is to let go of the ego, the false self! But focusing our life’s attention on our loving and merciful Savior makes it possible.
Wonderful thoughts. 🙂
Thanks Jade, and you are right. Giving up the ego and the false self are so difficult…a lifetime struggle.
Andie, thank you for the invitation I’ll always come back to your place:-) There’s a lot of wisdom living @ Meandering Thru Life.
Slowing down in prayer is a problem that I, too, often experience. You may have read this from John Predmore, SJ –http://predmore.blogspot.com/ — on 1/15/11 he wrote this — describing a “beholding exercise” which I found to be helpful in getting me in the slow-down mode for prayer.
“I find the prayer is more fruitful when we preface it with a brief beholding exercise. Just as we may gaze upon an icon, we ask God to gaze upon us as we begin our prayer. We ask God to hold us, see us, feel us, hear us, and know what we are feeling. When God does that, he honors us. This is a beautifully confident way to begin. We can then more easily share what we feel when we know God listens to us.
After God beholds us, we then ask for the grace to behold God as God beholds us. Though it is circular, it is quite a consoling image for us to see God gazing upon us – in amazement, wonder, and care. At this moment, we are only concerned about our present situation and we pay attention to God’s immediate presence to us. It is simple and streamlined and it answers many of the deep questions we have, like does God personally care about me? If God is present to us as we begin, the question takes care of itself.”
It’s good stuff and that’s something I can always count on from John.
Thank you for this – what a wonderful way to begin prayer. Gazing is such a beautiful word, isn’t it. Thanks Jer!
Oh! I just loved this post, Andie! Especially the “come as you are”. That’s the kind of invitation no one can resist. Isn’t this the kind of acceptance that everyone in the world is looking for? Thank you, this post was beautiful.
Thank you Mary, yes, I do believe that we are all looking for that kind of acceptance. And, we spend so much time and energy looking for it ‘in all the wrong places’
Appreciate you sharing this post very much. Blessings.
And blessings to you JBR – thanks!
How wonderful to love and be loved just the way you are.
Reading this post makes me long for quiet time with the Lord.
Very nice Andie.
Thanks Daily, it’s a great reminder for me as well! Quiet time…’sigh’
You are so right about the slowing down. And the clearing of my mind is also always a struggle as well.
Me too, Debbie, me too!!!
Great post Andie. Just what I needed to read right now.
Thanks Bernadine! Let’s give the credit to God!!
love, Love, LOVE this Andie! Slowing down to stop *doing* so much is necessary to *being* with God…you’re so right. I like that word – behold. I can’t imagine “beholding” without stillness. Thanks for this today, Andie!
Great point Kim, love that word too. I will think of what you said each time I hear ‘behold’
A friend of mine has reminded me – many times – that we are human beings, not human doings. It’s hard to just let yourself be and yet when you do, you hear the word of God and feel the breath of the spirit in everything around you.
A person from the third world remarked “You may have all the clocks and watches in your part of the world but the one thing you never have is time.”