God's Word: I have been reading the Bible for just about as long as I've been reading, which is roughly four years shorter than I have been alive. So, awhile. And it gets to the point that I think, Yeah, yeah. Been there, read that. I know - Elijah calls down fire and destroys them all. I dislike when things that I know should (and could) be meaningful become routine. Especially this. And this past summer in Colorado, I remember hearing in my profs' voices a deep love and awe for the Word of God. I recognized that it wasn't there in my own heart, but I started hungering for it more. I want to love God's word, for all it's truth & beauty, and not just view it as a helpful handbook to life.
At my church (which I love), I have been privileged to sit under teaching from a man who loves God's Word. In my small group, I am with people who love God's Word. And I think it's starting to rub off. More and more often, I am moved by a phrase or verse, or maybe even a word. In the fall, God led me to this verse, which has been a bit of a theme. And I am still not sick or even bored of it.
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength..."
Prayer: Interestingly, Sunday's sermon was on this topic. Prayer has been a part of my life even longer than reading the Bible, because I could speak well before I could read. And like the Bible, the meaningful quickly & easily became routine. Tradition. Pray before meals because, well, because. Pray at night because...well, because. Pray whenever, because God expects it. And then things swing the other way: don't pray before meals, because you're just praying for the sake of the prayer. Don't pray at night, because you've let it become "routine." Don't pray just anytime, because you haven't been praying any other time, so you don't deserve it. So many mixed up attitudes to prayer!
In university, I had a turning point. Falling asleep one night, I was purposefully praying, listening to God. I waited for Him to say something, to speak. Finally, I said, "Ok, God. I'm here. I'm listening. What are you going to say?" And He replied, "Isn't it enough just to be with me?" When prayer shifts from 'getting' to 'being,' it changes everything. It's slow, but it's happening. Also, the more I love God's Word, the more I love praying God's Word, and the more I love praying, because I know I'm praying in line with God's will.