”One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him is his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
Starting a new feature for the next several months called Book of the Month. I will present one of my books and tell you a little of the ...
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
the essence of prayer
That’s it. That’s what prayer is all about. In fact, that’s what life with God is, ultimately, all about. In the midst of the chaos and commotion and turmoil of this life, a single-minded focus on God, and simply being with him, is of utmost importance. It is so easy to get swept away with worry and care about the many things that we get distracted and forget about the one thing—Jesus.
Henri Nouwen said it this way: “Prayer is entering into the presence of God here and now. Prayer is the way I which we become present to the moment and listen to God who is with us. God is always where we are. God is with us until the end of time. We have to be here. We have to listen. We have to be attentive. Prayer is the discipline of attentiveness, of being here.
I really want to ask you to practice prayer as a practice of the presence of God. You don’t have to say many words. You don’t have to have deep thoughts. You don’t have to worry about how to think. You can just be where you are and say, ‘I love you. I love you. I know you love me and I love you. I don’t have any big things to say. I don’t have any profound words to express, but I am here and I want you to be with me and I want to be with you.’ It’s that simple. It is a very simple thing. Prayer is not complicated. It is not difficult.”
The true essence of prayer is simply being with God—dwelling, gazing, and seeking. I don’t know why we make it so complicated.