‘But by the grace of God I am what I am.’ 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV)
Have you ever just wanted to take a long walk talking to God. Seeking Him for what your desires are. Just to talk with him and tell him how you feel, what is going on in your life. A road to redemption. A road to healing. A road to deliverance. Just you and the sound of life that God gives to every living thing.
At times I just want to go on a long walk and meditate on God. Have you tried while exercising talking to God? Have you ever told him what you are feeling? Your hopes, dreams, desires, whatever they may be?
Looking back on my journey I have gained a different perspective than the one from where I began. God issued an invitation that changed how and where I walk. While I still enjoy walks in outdoors most days, along the coast, in the stillness and quiet of the morning, to the sound of the ocean, His invitation has taken me on an inward path to God.
Of paramount importance for me was to cultivate an attitude of heart and a quality of presence, a desire to live in that presence more fully and continually. Following the path inward is not something we do but a way of honouring an experience of the divine that has been awakened in us.
Exploring the inward path of His dwelling may have narrowed my vision, but I am able to see more the whole picture. The indwelling of the Lord seems to interlock, forming one unfolding process of growth, containing His unique grace and preparing me for what is ahead.
I soon began to realise that the inward path can reveal itself in many ways when I have released control and allowed God to reveal Himself anew.
For me contemplation is now playing a bigger and bigger role in my relationship with the Lord. It offers a variety of methods to cultivate this intimate relationship, the practice of simply breathing in God’s presence, or the practice of whispering sacred words to express my intention to remain in His presence, as simple as saying over and over “Father.” I regularly use “Holy Spirit, I need you.”
In fact, each time we touch God’s presence and remove our control from the situation we experience contemplation. Through my imagination I am encouraged to remain alert and keep my heart open and responsive so wherever the Holy Spirit may lead me along this path.
The path has now become more cyclic than linear. I sometimes retrace my steps in order to make progress or discover that a detour takes me closer to the centre. At times I sometimes sense I find myself back at the beginning because I am still struggling with the pull of worldly attractions.
The path is not a methodical progression and I have really struggled with this. I discovered that I had become very destination focused in my physical walking and set goals around how far and how fast I could walk. I feel that destination crept in my inward journey. I had to admit that and humbly confess this control.
The inward path now unfolding before me is a graced adventure where anything can occur and where backtracking can be a way forward. This way of prayer has at times surprised me.
As the years pass by, I realise that the journey itself, every turn is completely dependent on grace. For me the path I am on is fundamentally a symphony of grace where I daily discover its rhythm playing upon my life
This symphony of grace is where we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.
Grace praying is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. Grace adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer – verbal, mental or affective prayer – into resting in God, emphasising prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ.
As we draw close to God, He desires to reveal the beauty of his face to us. As we walk with him, He will open the Scriptures to us through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and reveal to us the light of the glory of God that is to be found in him.
Prayer is something dynamic, not static. Live with an openness toward the indwelling presence of God and let every thread of His unfailing love draw you beneath the surface of reality to the world in God.
My prayer is that you will enjoy your own graced adventure.