GardenSometimes, just sometimes what you really need is a quiet moment. As a society and as individuals we are just not good at it. We turn the TV on first thing in the morning, or the radio as soon as we start the car. In the background at our desks we have music playing. The whole day is filled with noise that subtly overpowers our own thoughts. Whenever we sit still we break out the iPhone to surf the net, or to scour Facebook or twitter for news of what everyone else is saying. Our minds are full of other people’s thoughts. There is seldom a minute in the day that we think deeply about anything.

Today, first thing, with my tea and Bible in hand, I went out to sit on the deck to pray and meditate. The birds were bustling about in the trees, the house martins zig-zagging in the sky above the backyard, and the clear blue sky was hyphenated by disintegrating vapor-trails. The odd car thundered by with its deep based way louder that necessary, and occasionally a poorly muffled motorcycle broke the quite air like thrusts of sharp knife – but for the most part it was quite lovely and serene. In those moments I was able to read, pray and reflect.

I thought about why we don’t enjoy much spontaneity in prayer throughout rest of the day anymore, and decided that it is because we don’t practice prayer as a discipline in the quite moments like these, set aside for God and God alone. I find it very easy to talk to my wife, but that is because I am used to talking to her, and we frequently have long and deep conversations. There are times when I will just say a few words or she will initiate a conversation out of the blue when we are sitting together or reading out in the backyard. Sometimes it is significantPsalm 11914 and other times it’s just chat. But the freedom of the interchange is a delight! What would it be like if through frequent and deliberate efforts we would learn to talk to God, set aside time to be with him, read his word and respond to it? Maybe, as we go about our daily routines, we would find ourselves just talking to him… sometimes sharing a trivial ideas or thoughts, and at other times pouring out the devotion of our hearts, or rehearsing out delight in him.

My time on the deck is the foundation of the rest of my prayer life, at church and elsewhere. My devotion time is the solid base upon which my fellowship with God in every other aspect of life rests. I know he is with me, and I know how to recognize his voice or discern his presence, because I know what his voice and presence sound and feel like when I am alone with him in those intensely important quite moments before my day starts in earnest.

About the Author

Paul and Loala pastor the Wilmington First Pentecostal Holiness Church, where they have served for almost 20 year. They have two children who work and serve in the church worship department, along with their son-in-law. Paul is a graduate of Holmes Bible College (Greenville, SC), with a BA in English Bible and New Testament Greek, and of Global University (Springfield, MO) with an MA in Biblical Studies (New Testament Concentration).

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