Leaning Back on God

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Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.

–William Barclay,
The Plain Man’s Book of Prayers

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Surprised by Wonder

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Lord, catch me off guard today.
Surprise me with some moment
of beauty or pain
So that at least for the moment
I may be startled into seeing that you
are here in all your splendor,
Always and everywhere,
Barely hidden,
Beneath.
Beyond,
Within this life I breathe.

–Frederick Buechner

The hiddenness of God

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God, who is everywhere, never leaves us.
Yet He seems sometimes to be present,
sometimes absent. If we do not know Him well,
we do not realize that He may be
more present to us when He is absent
then when He is present.

–Thomas Merton

He can’t get closer

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No prayer can ever
bring God any closer.
Already, without any effort
on your part,
God patiently dwells
within the tender recesses
of your own heart.

–Mike Yaconelli 

It is a promise

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The final secret, I think, is this: that the words “You shall love the Lord your God” become in the end less a command than a promise. And the promise is that, yes, on the weary feet of faith and the fragile wings of hope, we will come to love him at last as from the first he has loved us–loved us even in the wilderness, especially in the wilderness, because he has been in the wilderness with us. He has been in the wilderness for us. He has been acquainted with our grief.

–Frederick Buechner
A Room Called Remember

Untidy spirituality

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Surely there are guidelines to follow, principles to live by, maps to show us where to go, and secrets we can uncover to find a spirituality that is clean and tidy. I’m afraid not.

Spirituality is not a formula;
it is not a test. It is a relationship.
Spirituality is not about competency;
it is about intimacy.
Spirituality is not about perfection;
it is about connection.

The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives. Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives. Spirituality is not about being fixed; it is about God’s being present in the mess of our unfixedness.

–Mike Yaconelli
Messy Spirituality

His faithful presence

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Our life is full of brokenness—
broken relationships,
broken promises,
broken expectations.
How can we live with that brokenness
without becoming bitter and resentful
except by returning again and again
to God’s faithful presence
in our lives?

–Henri Nouwen

He walks everywhere

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We may ignore, but we can’t
evade the presence of God.
The world is crowded with Him.
He walks everywhere
incognito.

–C. S. Lewis

Image: Ramunas

Published in: on 02/25/2013 at 3:41  Leave a Comment  
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Friendship with God

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Our union with God–his presence with us, in which our aloneness is banished and the meaning and full purpose of human existence is realized–consists chiefly in a conversational relationship with God while we are each consistently and deeply engaged as his friend and colaborer in the affairs of the kingdom of the heavens.

–Dallas Willard

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