In recent decades, we have been learning great lessons about prayer. Many ministries have sprung up to teach Christians how to be prayer warriors. Yet, for all our praying, many of us lack a sense of closeness and intimacy with God to whom we pray. We may have no clue how to truly find God in our prayer time. With all our understanding about God’s awesome power, it’s as if we’ve lost sight of God Himself and His longing to be intimate with us.
If we want to find God in our everyday experience and sense His real presence throughout life’s struggles and joys, we must learn about a kind of prayer few of us understand: the prayer of inner quiet. In the psalms, we discover long lists of God’s amazing attributes and His great and mighty acts. We read, “You are the God who does wonders,” “You have demonstrated your power among the people,” and “With Your mighty arm You have redeemed Your people.” We get into the pace of those words, imagining a God who is always on the move. Unfortunately, often we miss the all-important instruction at the end: selah—“pause a minute and calmly think about what you’ve just read.” In this, we hear the echo of God’s voice calling us to come apart to be alone with Him. But we miss His voice in the midst of our busy days; we run until we drop and then we get up the next day and start all over again.
Although we often complain about our demanding, stressed-out lives, most of us have become accustomed to the frantic pace. We scarcely know what to do with ourselves when things slow down. Some of us are even afraid to slow down, afraid of what will happen. Our running keeps us just ahead of the wind at our backs. And if we should suddenly stop, the whirlwind of promises we’ve made and responsibilities we’ve picked up will catch up with us.
At the same time, we sense our own desire to retreat to the wonderful spirit-place, the quiet sanctuary where God abides.
What is the only requirement for finding your way to the secret place with God? Just begin. Begin by abandoning yourself to God, which means learning to rest in His divine presence no matter what your circumstances may be.