Where: Your safe and comfortable place.
When: You are relaxed and not completely distracted by all the tasks at hand – when the “chattering monkeys” are quietest.
Posture/position: Relaxed (your breathing or fidgeting are clues) and peaceful. Open to listen to your body, mind and spirit.
Attitude: Hospitality to the one with whom you want to have the conversation. Faith that even though God is quiet and silent, he desires to communicate with you.
Why: “God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other.” (Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis)
Presence: pause for a moment – Jesus says, “I stand at the door waiting for your invitation for fellowship”. Welcome him here.
Freedom: Ask God for help to be free from your own preoccupations and be open to his leading.
Notice how you are: Am I at ease? Weighed down? Angry? Grateful? Acknowledge how you really are at this moment – God loves you as you are.
A bit of advice: we are inundated with noise and distractions so it may be nigh on impossible to forget our cares and commitments while we pray. Remember Jesus came into a noisy world and he still comes to you in the noise and confusion we feel.
Passage of scripture: Read it very slowly aloud and listen carefully and peacefully to it….pause…..Listen with your heart as you would a love letter. Read aloud or whisper with pauses and repetitions when and where you are drawn. Don’t be anxious, don’t try to look for implications or lessons or profound thoughts conclusions. Be content to be like a child who climbs into a caring person’s lap and listens to a story.
Conversation: Imagine Jesus having coffee with you – what do you want to tell him? Say whatever is on your mind, deep in your life.
Close: say the Lord’s Prayer or whatever helps you finish up.
This is an ongoing conversation – not a transaction. You may be asking for help some days and others being grateful. You pick up on the conversation through the day or the next time you sit in quiet.
Praying With Jesus
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” (Matthew 26:36-46 NLT)