Creating Space for God
How do we pray?” How do we deepen our intimacy with God? Before we go there, we have to prepare the soil for prayer. We have to create space for God. Just like our relationships with our friends and family suffer if we don’t create time and space for them, so too our relationship with God suffers if we don’t create space for Him. What kind of space do we need to create? We need to create space mentally, emotionally and physically for our relationship with God to flourish.
There is a story about a seeker who desired very much to know God. He heard of a wise monk, a man of prayer, who lived in a hermitage in the mountains. The seeker decided to go and visit the monk and so he strapped his backpack of books on his back and began his journey. Every time he would stop for the night, he would study his books to be ready for his meeting with the monk. Finally, after many months of travel, he arrived at the monk’s hermitage. With excitement and some apprehension, he knocked on the door of the hermitage and the wise old monk came to the door and invited him in. The seeker explained to the monk that he had a deep desire to know God and that he had traveled for many months to gain the monks knowledge on the subject.
In silence the monk gestured for the seeker to lay down this backpack of books and to sit down at his table. The monk left the room and then reentered with an empty cup and a pot of tea. The monk placed the cup on the table and began to pour the tea into it. He kept pouring the tea until it filled the cup and then began to overflow onto the table and then onto the floor. The seeker with alarm, said “Master, please stop. The cup is already full and the tea is overflowing” The monk turned to him and said, “You have come here with your head already full. There is no room for God to enter in.”
Isn’t this how we often come to God: with our heads already full? In our busy lives, our heads are full of our preconceived ideas about God, our expectations of God and our laundry list of what we want from God. It’s no wonder that we often feel distant from God. We don’t create the space in our busy minds for Him to enter in. We often experience something called the “monkey mind”. Our mind swings from one thought to the next without stopping. With this state of mind, it is difficult to quiet our minds enough to enter into a dialogue with God.
This is where meditation and contemplative prayer can be helpful. Slowing down and spending some quality time alone with God is a great way to make space for God. You can actually make an appointment with God on your calendar, and then keep it! You might want to try a prayer practice like Centering Prayer or journaling that you have never tried before. It is also helpful to create a prayer corner in your home or office that is just for prayer.
Jesus got away often from the crowds and the busyness to pray and encouraged his disciples to do the same. ( Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, Matt. 14:22-23) In the same way, Jesus invites us into a quiet place to pray.
Will you accept His invitation?
We invite you to join us for our next sermon series called “The Good Life” (October 18 – November 1) that will focus on six different spiritual practices. In this series there will be a lot of good ideas of how to live the good life Jesus promises us through engaging in spiritual practices.