Recently, our 2 year old grandson Will visited us. He lives a long way away, so it was a glorious and a very busy time. No one holds a candle to Will in busyness. One evening it was my responsibility to quiet Will and get him off to bed. The process started with a bath, not too quieting, I might add! Next came story time with The Cat in the Hat, again not a very quieting event. Finally Grandma decided the Cat had to go and we went into the cool, dim, quiet bedroom to rock and talk about what his day had been like. As we talked, I rubbed his head and back and his chatter came at longer intervals and at last he was ready for bed.
Sometimes my prayer time is like that. I sit with God and my mind is busily recounting concerns of the day, asking for help or mercy, praising His goodness and all the while God is patting my soul, waiting for me to get quiet and be still. Like Will, sometimes I resist the quiet and insist on my topics for prayer. But like the good Parent He is, God waits for me to become open to His presence and I eventually am in a more peaceful place.
Often while in prayer, I feel like I need to work through some problem with God, or to do some other activity with God. But there are moments when I sense the Lord wants me to be quiet and know that the He is God. I do find when I’m more prayerful during my busy day, I feel the movement toward stillness in prayer time, as if I’m being tugged in that direction. Contemplation in prayer specifically looks for those still moments. When I contemplate, I lean, not force, my prayer time more toward those quiet moments than toward prayerful activities, such as recitation of prayers.
Sometimes these moments of stillness occur at busy points of my day. In the midst of preparing for class or sitting in a meeting I find myself getting quiet inside. As I am able, I allow the Lord to take me to that quiet place, knowing that is what I need at that moment. I may just close the book I was using in preparation, shut my eyes and float with God for a few minutes.