Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coffee and Prayer

Coffee and Prayer
Peggy K. Mack
August 27, 2013

In recent days, we have been blessed with a new grandbaby and what a joy she is! The trip to Virginia to hold Mary Grace for the first time involved taking our Rooney to his Bed and Breakfast for dogs while we drove six hours northward and stayed in a hotel near the hospital.

I learned from that trip that my recent decision to have morning meditation and devotion time at home was completely sabotaged by a change in our location and our daily routines. I had packed two small devotional books but found without the "alone' time I enjoy at home each morning in my favorite chair, I simply forgot to begin my day with prayer and meditation. We seemed to jump from sleep to showers to breakfast to the hospital and the day was on with full speed ahead.

I, also, discovered my reason for scheduling meditation and prayer. In this quiet time of gratitude and peace, I receive clarity of my own thoughts, a sense of direction and often gifts of words to share with others. Without it, the world seems to give me orders for how things are going to go for the day. The difference in beginning my day with prayer or hitting the ground running to face the world seems similar to choosing to carefully plant seeds and nurturing them as opposed to tossing them out to fend for themselves.

Morning meditation is about centering your mind, beginning your day connecting your spirit to listen to God and seeking the peace, comfort and guidance He affords us. We arm ourselves with peace, understanding, knowledge and prayer and go out to face whatever comes our way.

Often our mornings begin with the "I can't live without it" cup or two of coffee. We seem to know that it is going to take a surge of caffeine to fire our engines. I am slowly seeing in this new walk with Christ, that I also have the "I can't live without it" morning devotions. I remember in a recent conversation with my mentoring friend, Dottie, that on a certain morning when her morning got rushed and her schedule was off, she commented to me, "and I haven't even had a chance to have my morning devotions."

It has nothing to do with ritual. It has no connection to impressing others with your Christian activities and has everything to do with starting your day feeling connected, grounded and centered in your private walk with Christ which enables you to be a gift, a blessing, in someone else's life. As mature Christians, we lose the "what am I gonna get out of this" mentality and transition into the "what can I do to make a difference in others' lives" way of thinking.

Imagine for a moment that you are an olympic diver. You want to make a perfect dive and a smooth splash into the waters' surface. The pool you visit has no diving board and you must simply splash in from the side of the pool. On another morning, you find a pool with an Olympic designed diving platform and you are able to complete a perfect dive. The feeling you have the rest of the day is determined by how you begin your day. Beginning with private conversations with God makes your day more positive, God centered and focused. For me, the "perfect dive" into my day begins with morning meditation, prayer and a connecting of my thoughts with God's will. Having returned from VA and our new little Mary Grace, I have a deeper appreciation for the quiet time I need to begin each new morning.

If you have not begun your morning meditation, it is never too late. I began in July at the age of 62. I suggest to you, what Dottie suggested to me. I mentioned it in an earlier story. Begin with a small notebook or journal for your prayer list. The list changes and can be updated as time passes. Along with it, search for one or two books of Christian information for further growth. Add a 365 day book of morning devotions like, Jesus Calling, for example. Most important of all, have your own Bible. Dottie astutely told me, The Bible is my core, my center of knowledge for growth in faith. The other books are all wonderful, but I go back to the Bible as my main source.
I keep those books in a carry-all bag by my recliner under my end table. I have a designated place for them where I can find them easily. I, also, have my laptop nearby because many mornings following meditation I find words in my thoughts which I want to share in my writing. I can also use it to make a quick search for a Bible reference.

I am not one for routine. I am a serendipitous soul by nature but when I see a valuable purpose in an activity that enriches my life, I work to find a way to make it doable for me. I now value my morning meditation and prayers more than ever.

Now, if I could only apply that to my fitness center membership. Ah....that seems to be the flat tire in my psyche of life. I will add that to my prayer list in the morning.

John 15:7 ESV
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Mark 11:24 ESV
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Matthew 6:7 ESV

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Luke 11:9 ESV / 54 helpful votes

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Romans 8:26 ESV

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Matthew 6:6 ESV

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for showing me how important it is to make time each day to pray and meditate. How can I face the day without you as my center and my guide?
In Jesus' Name,

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