“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.”
— Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:6, The Message
The last few times I have turned to the book of Matthew in my devotional times, I’ve gotten stuck at this one verse. I read it over and over and marvel at its gentle simplicity. Jesus invites us to center ourselves into a silence of prayer and then to just be there before God “as simply and honestly as [we] can manage.”
Just be before God.
Have you ever prayed that way before? What is it like for you to come before God that way? Is it hard? Is it a relief?
If you’ve never tried this as a form of prayer before, what is it like for you to consider being this way with God? Is it scary? Is it difficult? Does it intrigue you?
Today, I want to encourage you to try this.
Take five minutes apart from your normal routine and sit quietly in a place uncluttered by any distraction.
As you sit there, remove all the heavy trappings of normal life weighing upon your shoulders, your back, your mind. Set them down, one by one, to the side of you.
Then focus your attention on God.
Sit wordlessly with God for a moment. Experience what it is like to sit quietly and simply before God, unadorned by any other thing. Sit this way with God for as long as you want or are able.
After this time of quietness before God, reflect on what this experience of prayer was like for you. Did you speak any words to God? Did God speak any words to you? Did you experience any feelings?
Consider whether this is an exercise you would like to try again sometime.
If you would like to share your experience, you are welcome to do so in the comments below.