Coffee With God

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A few weeks back, I had a conversation with one of our staff members about her prayer life.  She had a very practical story with how she entered into a meaningful prayer life with the God who created, redeemed and sustains her.  A friend of hers had mentored her by inviting her to treat God as if God were a friend that she was going to have coffee or tea with and, in the midst of that fellowship, just share your thoughts and “downright gut-wrenching issues” that are weighing on your heart.

So that’s exactly what she did.  One afternoon she put on some water to boil, poured two cups of tea and imagined that God was sitting down across the table from her as she had a conversation with God.  Now, do you think that God’s presence was only her imagination or was God truly sitting right across from her as she sipped her tea?  How pleasing it must have been for God to be invited to tea with this wonderful child of his!

In truth, she said it felt a little weird at first for her to pray in this way but, through her vulnerability, she found herself connecting with God in a way that she had never felt before!  Perhaps its time you invited God to join you for coffee or tea?  Or if coffee or tea is not your thing, then you might try writing an email to God or cooking a meal with your Lord.   Maybe you might even take a drive with God sitting in your passenger seat.  You may feel a little bit crazy when you first try this form of prayer, but I imagine you will connect with God in a deepening way just as my friend and colleague did.  I hope that you might share your experience on the prayer blog (http://prayer.blogs.cor.org/) if you try out this prayer discipline over the next week.

The Little Things

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Brother Lawrence was a monastic “lay brother” in a Carmelite Priory in Paris who came from humble and uneducated beginnings in the 17th century.  Because of his lowly status in the priory he was assigned to work in the kitchen.  Over his years in the kitchen, he learned to discipline himself to be in a constant state of prayer while he accomplished his day to day tasks.  He believed that, no matter how mundane the task, anything could become a medium for experience God’s loving presence in his life and in the life of others.  He wrote, “We can do little things for God;  I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and [with] that done, if there is nothing else to call me (no other responsibilities), I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king.  It is enough for me to pick up a straw from the ground for the love of God.”

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?  I wonder if it is possible for us to obtain this kind of prayer life – where everything we do seems to be for God and we are cognizant of that fact.  It’s certainly worth striving towards.

I know a Financial Advisor whose mission statement is to “bring glory to God by helping people find contentment with their finances.”  Some may think this far-fetched but I know this man and I find myself often envious of his relationship with God.  I know another business man who has a daily prayer meeting with a group of his colleagues each day during lunch.  These are people who strive to find God in the every day… in the mundane.  How might you find ways to “do little things for God” throughout your day?  How can you make seemingly mundane things prayerful?  If you cook, you might pray over the food you are preparing – that it might bless those who receive it.  If you work in customer service, perhaps you pray a brief blessing for the customer during a lull in the conversation.  I invite you to be creative as you make the little things in life more prayerful.

Heaven and earth

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Bishop Reubon Job writes of the founders of Methodism, “Charles Wesley’s hymns always begin on earth and end in heaven.  So it also is with John Wesley’s theology.”  This journey from earth to heaven is one that we will all make some day but there are many opportunities for us to bridge the gap between the earthly kingdom and God’s heavenly kingdom in the here and now.  In all aspects of our prayer lives I hope that we are praying thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ought to employ this ‘journey’ in our prayer lives as we begin with the reality of where we are and what’s going on in the earthly sense and invite God’s grace to transform it into a heavenly reflection of God’s kingdom.  In Revelation 21, John of Patmos writes,

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals.  He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away… See I am making all things new.”

Let us pray for that!  I invite you, in your prayer lives, to pray in the circumstances of where you are in life and to end your prayers with an invitation for God to transform it into something heavenly.  God, take this world and make it yours… thy will be done.  Amen.


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