Saturday, February 3, 2018

What's that you say?

Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. (Philippians 4:8 TLB)
A part of prayer that is often overlooked is our mindset toward both God and others. We don't "think" about how our "thinking" affects our frame of mind while in prayer with God. If we consider for a moment that prayer is just a time of celebrating and communicating with God and him with us, what things are we focusing on in communication with others that we can also focus on when in prayer with God? For one thing, we can clear our minds of all the other stuff we have been focusing on for a while and just settle into some special time with him. Whenever my BFF and I get a chance to really share with each other, I can count on one thing - she is listening to me! She shows it in both her attentiveness and in her posture. Sometimes God is just waiting for us to get "attentive" and with a posture that shows him we are ready to receive whatever it is he wants to share with us!
If you ever watched any of the Charlie Brown specials, you might remember the "voice" of the teacher. It was a "sound effect" versus an actual voice. The "whaaa, whaaa, whaaa, whaaa" of that "voice" is sometimes what we hear when we try communicating with God. It is as though we aren't "tuned into" his voice and all we hear is static! Maybe we hear so much "static" in prayer because of all the "static" we allow in because we haven't brought our mindset into captive thought yet! We are allowing all the things we are hearing around us to override his voice! "Fixed" thoughts begin in purposeful focus - there is intent behind the focus. Trust me on this one - it isn't easy! We get so caught up in the "untrue", "impure", and "not so right" that we often only hear those "tones" in our prayer time. It is probably because we are the ones setting the "tone" of the exchange in that very negative framework!
If you get to know me well enough, you will realize I have very little desire for any other "perspective" on "spirituality" other than what the Bible clearly and plainly teaches. I haven't made room in my mind for mysticism, superstition, and the like. Why? Those are "tones" that override the truth God yearns to share with me and I don't want that "interference". I want a "pure" exchange in our time together - just as much as I enjoy and long for that "pure" exchange in my time together with my BFF. Maybe some will label me as "narrow-minded", but that is okay because I think scripture backs up my actions on this one. Others will think I am limiting the "forces" I can be connected with, but again, that is just fine with me because I haven't found any other "force" quite as reliable and powerful as the one I "tap into" when I get time alone with God.
As we consider the development of our prayer time today, let us not lose sight of the importance of "centered" or "fixed" thoughts. Allow what is good to remain, and remove what distracts or acts as the "whaa, whaa, whaa" you hear. The most important connection we will make today is the one in which God hears us and we are listening intently to hear him. We may only hear the sound of his breathing or his beating heart, but even in these things we find the enjoyment of the closeness of our connection! Just sayin!