By Brenda Jank
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. Psalm 62:5a
This promise speaks to me of prayer.
The word P.R.A.Y. is a helpful tool for me as I explore ways to find rest for my soul.
A momentary halt. Even though my intentional time with God happens early in the morning, my mind is already racing, running full steam ahead. Stillness involves a quieted heart. The word pause helps me acknowledge the holy reverence of coming before the Throne of the mighty, creative, passionate God of all the universe. I pause, recognizing his presence.
Gratitude alters a relationship. Entitlement is ugly. Taking time to recognize God’s goodness is a gift to me, and a gift to God. Sometimes I sing. Sometimes I reflect on the names and character of God. Sometimes I share with him a very specific list of overdue, heartfelt “thank yous.”
This is where I choose to be intentionally still. I recognize that I am homesick. Hungry. Longing. My soul finds a resting place. I acknowledge the mystery and miracle of stillness. I don’t have to fully understand it. Many days I find a deep satisfaction in the Presence of God. Some days I’m too flighty, too distracted or too rushed. Intentional stillness prepares my heart to be more attentive, more watchful of his presence the rest of the day. Sometimes this quiet time lasts for seconds, sometimes minutes. Sometimes I ask, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Joshua 5:14c)
Then I dig into God’s Word. I have a passionate hunger for the words of God. I want to be equally passionate about yielding to his way, his plans, his purposes. It is a lifelong journey. In regard to Bible study, someone once challenged me to “Go slow. Live it. Pray it through.” Too often in my zeal I read too much. There is power in one, long, slow sip. When I do that, his Word is more inclined to sink deeply into my soul and not run off a hardened heart.
First question. Is my ability to find rest for my soul linked to the time I take to P. R. A. Y.?
Psalm 46:10 is a favorite, but we must take the time to read the whole verse, the whole psalm. Too often we stop short.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10
The exaltation of God.
Second question. Is the exaltation of God in my life, through my life linked to my ability to be still, and know?