One of the things I most look forward to over a long weekend, or over a holiday break, is the opportunity to really get into my reading. I love reading, although during normal seasons of working life find it hard to focus on a particular book, or to get through enough of a chunk of a novel to make me stick with it.
Over the weekend I read through a book on Prayer because it is an area of life that I have been struggling with over the last few months. Actually I should qualify that by saying that it has never been something that I've found easy, it has always been something that I have really had to work hard at to get any sense of routine or indeed sense of "connectedness" in. I have found prayer easier in seasons of life where I've lived in closer Christian communities than I do now, or when I am more focussed on my faith walk, and to be honest that is not a season I am in at the moment. For a variety of reasons the last few months have been very trying and challenging, and in those times I move away from prayer rather than closer to it.
The book that I read had a variety of points to make, and one that stood out for me was a reflection on Psalm 49:10 – "Be Still and Know that I am God". The writer makes the point that this passage is often quoted in song but very rarely understood for what it so clearly is – two instructions.
#1 = Be Still. How often do we actually do that in daily life? When do we stop and switch off from the distractions of the world, and indeed those distractions in our own heads, to genuinely "be still"?
#2 = Know that I am God. No questioning, no pondering, just certainty in 'knowing". How do we get that certainty? By trusting. By spending time in prayer. By focussing on the things of God rather than those of daily life.
Another way to read it is as one longer exhortation – i.e. "if you would just be still you would know that I am God". A great encouragement in prayer.
What do you do that helps you to be still?