1 Thessalonians 5:17
I've come to experience unceasing prayer as facing
reality–my external circumstances and my internal responses–while intentionally opening to God's presence. Rather than an ongoing conversation its more like a
When I face into life and notice my internal reactions
to that life and allow it all to come into consciousness with as few filters or judgments as possible, I've found that God is neither judging nor resisting what's happening. Instead I experience God smiling knowingly as I become increasingly aware of both the great gift, that is, my life in Christ, and, my
egocentric response to that same gift. (Sometimes I don't have the eyes to see the great gift as gift.)
When I am feeling the unnamed angst that would
drive me into unconscious, automatic coping behaviors, I can, because of my awareness of God's presence, simply allow it to be a part of my reality. When I let God join me in the experience rather than attempting to bear it alone, I'm
not as inclined to compulsive, myopic introspection. Nor am I as likely to jump to the same old conclusions (I need to try harder, I'm useless); rather, by letting God's light and healing presence work beyond consciousness, and letting
the shame-based desire to fix myself be overcome by God's unconditional love, I can allow the Spirit to do what can only be done by God's Spirit in the context of my actual life.
Yes, it is hard to release control and trust God rather than my own resources. Like everyone, I feel obliged to take responsibility for myself. But with theblessing of five decades it has been made very clear that I am not that good at managing my own transformation.