Thoughts on Chapter 5 "Spending Time With Your Father"

I am currently reading A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller. Here are some quotes I was struck by as I read them:

"Any relationship, if it is going to grow, needs private space, time together without an agenda, where you can get to know each other. This creates an environment where closeness can happen, where we can begin to understand each other's hearts.
You don't create intimacy; you make room for it. This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can't get to know God on the fly." - p. 47

"If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You'll always be a little too tired, a little too busy. But if like Jesus, you realize you can't do life on your own, then no matter how busy, no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray.
Time in prayer makes you even more dependent on God because you don't have as much time to get things done. Every minute spent in prayer is one less minute where you can be doing something "productive." So the act of praying means that you have to rely more on God." - p. 49

"Regardless of how or when you pray, if you give God the space, he will touch your soul. God knows you are exhausted, but at the same time he longs to be part of your life. A feast awaits." - p. 51
[All italics and underlining are mine]

I sat and thought munched each of those quotes for a bit. Actually, a really long time. And I reread them.

They made me wonder if intimacy scares me. I know I need it. There are times I almost crave it. But in the end, I find myself, many a time, running from it. Because intimacy means love and love means pain, thus intimacy means pain. At least that's what I've learned from this broken world.

However, when God is who you are becoming intimate with, though it means love, it does not mean pain in the way I think of pain. Sure there will be the pain of him prying away at the filth of your flesh, but it is for the purpose of drawing you closer to his heart. Making you more into his likeness. Molding me into a vessel able to be used for his glory, which is our purpose in this life. Pain inflicted by God is not form the possibility he will leave you: "'...I will not fail you or forsake you'" (Joshua 1:5b). There is no possibility for the pain to come from him harming you. It is only so he may refine you.

Yet, that is not how I respond to him. I do a better job at pursuing intimacy with people here who I know will fail me, hurt me, and may possibly leave me. I run around like a chicken with my head cut-off having left no time to pray. I lose heart when life bogs me down but I don't ensure down time with God. I even say I pray constantly. But what is that if I'm not actually taking focused time to be with God as well?

To pray without ceasing is bollucks if you're praying to someone who you've only taken time to know while you're running past. Which is to say, not at all. And in the process, you miss out on the greatest opportunity to know the Creator of the Universe.



I know it will always be a struggle because the ruler of this world wants nothing more than to see me fail. But I hope to truly start making it a priority in my life. That is, making God and keeping God the central focus. That has always been my heart's desire since he opened my eyes. I pray it always will be.

Something seemingly so easy we have made so hard.

I hope I will begin to approach him like a little child (the first few chapters discuss this in a bit more detail. Maybe I'll revisit them at a different time). It is of course what Jesus continually told us to do in the gospels. On a daily basis.

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