Page 137 was the start to another work week so it was up early and in to clean and prep the building before the students arrived for school. Maybe I’m getting old, although more mature sounds better, but early mornings have become some of my favorite times. While the idea of getting up early never appealed to me, and still isn’t at the top of my list of fun things to do, the stillness and quiet of a morning at work before anyone else is around is a beautiful thing. It is during those pre-dawn rounds that I can have uninterrupted prayer and worship times to start my day. Most mornings an old hymn sticks in my mind and gets sung over and over as I clean. And by giving it an opportunity to stick in my mind, it often reappears throughout the day.
After the cleaning and prep, I settled in my office chair to spend time with God to put together the prayer guide for next week. As I prayed, the idea of wonder filled my mind. It is an interesting word as we use it to describe a state of mind where we think about or question something — “I wonder if it will rain.” We also use it to describe things that are incredible and perhaps even beyond explanation — “The seven wonders of the world.” And then we have God who performs wonders, who fills our hearts and minds with wonder, and is Himself full of wonder. It was out of all of this thought process that I put together a prayer guide for next week on the topic of Wonderful! Watch for it to be published Sunday in the “prayer guide” section of the Impact Prayer Ministry website.
After the prayer guide was written, I spent some time with God going through thoughts and ideas for two workshops I will lead at a conference this summer. Eventually I decided I was hungry and needed some fresh air so I went to lunch then headed down to Potato Creek for a hike with some listening and photography time. As I began my hike, the hymn “Amazing Grace” filled my mind so it was sung throughout my afternoon walk. One of the workshops I am putting together is on developing a lifestyle of prayer through listening so I decided to focus on listening throughout my hike. It is amazing what I was able to notice when my listening was intentional. I wasn’t listening for anything specific, I was simply deliberately listening to whatever could be heard. Some of the sounds were obvious — the sounds of the birds singing, the roar of the jets overhead, the wind-driven water lapping along the shore. But other sounds required a more active listening mode to hear movement or even to hear the absence of sound. It was in one of these times when everything became really quiet that I looked up and then took the photo that is a part of this page. The birds had been singing, but what got my attention this time was that my presence had become noticed and the songs of the birds had stopped. Sometimes God uses the voice of His Word spoken into our lives to communicate to us His love and the direction we ought to be going. Other times it is in the absolute quietness that He calls us to be still and simply know He is God and His presence is with us.
I pray that you and I would seek to develop a lifestyle of prayer so that prayer is simply a part of who we are. I pray that we would worship God as we consider just how wonderful He is to us. I pray that we would become more active listeners — first to God and then to others. I pray that our listening to God would direct every aspect of our life.