June 30

Prayer:  Practicing the presence of peace

       It is not enough to just talk about peace.  You need to feel it, experience it.  But how can you experience something that seems so hard to grasp, something that’s just a concept?  There is a way to practice the presence of God and to encourage the presence of peace in your life.  This section is not so much theoretical as it is practical.  In order to experience God’s peace you must do certain things in a certain way.  And it’s simple, but not easy.

       Learning to hear God’s voice is not as complicated as it may seem; in fact, it’s a very simple  procedure.  And it’s the simple nature of prayer that makes it possible to hear the still, small voice of God.  In the 12-Step program we refer to the God of our understanding as our Higher Power.  In prayer I am very aware of an “Inner Power” for the still, small voice of God can be heard within my own being.

       Call it intuition, or call it self-talk, God’s voice can be heard when I purposely simplify what I do.  When you begin to pray and to meditate, it will be difficult at first because you’re not used to sitting still for more than a few seconds.  It’s about the mind chatter… you know, the endless noise in your head that you don’t even notice until you stop to pray and meditate.  That’s what makes it seem difficult.

       The practice of prayer is a way of nurturing your relationship with God.  Your Higher Power isn’t something impersonal like a chair or a book.  It’s a person, but much more than a mere person.  Your Higher Power is the Source of all things including your very existence.  Be not mistaken; God is personal, and you can nurture your relationship with your Higher Power as you would with any other person you know.

       Communing with God begins with acknowledging His presence.  You need not doubt that God exists and that He desires to have a relationship with you.  To simply affirm that God is near and cares about you is where you begin. 

       One important part of prayer is petition:  Asking for something.  There are many scriptures that address the topic of prayer and, in particular, petitioning God.  Knowing how to ask is just as important as asking.  How many times have you asked God for something and received nothing?  There are ways to petition God, but mostly an attitude which I call “the open heart.”

       If you are deepening your relationship with God it’s because you are practicing three things:  Honesty, gratitude and humility.  Truthful honesty is what and deepens the relationship and establishes your prayers.  Gratitude and humility is an attitude that allows you entrance into God’s holy presence. 

 Tomorrow’s topic- Prayer:  Experiencing the power of God’s peace