Giving and Receiving

Today’s Reflection

RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR ABBA FATHER requires that we learn how to give and receive in prayer. …

Let me tell you how I am learning to receive in prayer. Most mornings I arrive at my office about an hour before I start working. I begin my time of prayer by relaxing into God’s presence. I normally sit — quiet, relaxed — remembering God’s presence within me and around me. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me be open to the love and grace that comes to me each moment from God’s heart. Sometimes a few items weigh so heavily on my mind that I blurt them out immediately to God, but talking with God is not the main purpose of this time together. Receiving prayer for me is more about creating space for the Holy Spirit to work in me. I embrace other times when I can speak at length with God.

Once I have settled into the quiet, I read a few words from God’s good-news story in scripture. I usually have chosen a Bible passage before beginning my time of prayer. I am not trying to learn anything new while I read; rather, I am seeking to meet with God. It is like slowly reading a letter from my wife, Debbie. As I read, I begin to think of her. The letter helps me feel closer to her, and often I can sense my own love for her deepening. Most of all, savoring the letter renews my sense of Debbie’s love for me. Her words on paper help me receive her love into my life. I have this same experience when I read a scripture passage slowly. It helps me refocus on those warm rays of divine love and grace that God continuously sends out.

Next I receive God’s love and grace into my life by opening my heart and mind to God. This is the way I approach it: I have a favorite love-word for God. I whisper it over and over again as an expression of my love for God. Someitmes Iwill use the phrase “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” At other times I express no words, only the longing of my heart to know Christ more deeply. Then I sit in the silence with God with my hands open. Obviously, distracting thoughts jostle around in my mind and clamor for my attention. I don’t get too worried about this and have learned to let these thoughts go as they come. Then I return to my love-word for God or to my prayer for Jesus’ mercy or to my deep longings. This silent part of my praying forms the longest part of my time of receiving prayer.

– Trevor Hudson
Holy Spirit Here and Now

From pages 70-71 of Holy Spirit Here and Now by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How is prayer both giving to God and receiving from God? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?

Psalm 24:3, NRSV

This Week: pray to know God’s deep love for you. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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