The Holy Mazda
I have discovered a wonderful new way that helps me with my TAWG (time alone with God).
I use Google Calendar to send me an sms at 11:30pm every night reminding me to pray. This in itself is a really helpful reminder – like my very own “muezzin” (man in Islam appointed to call to prayer).
When I set this up, I expected it would also be a reminder to go to bed and get an early night as well, but I have learnt that my bedroom is really not a place I can spend a lot of time praying.
I don’t know if it’s the mess or the many things to distract me and draw away my attention. It also could be the fact that ever since my separation and following divorce, my bedroom has symbolized for me a sense of lonliness and I find I avoid spending a lot of time there (this makes going to sleep a problem as you generally should be spending a third of your day in your bedroom). Anyway, I know all that needs to be worked through and I need to deal with my issues in regard to my bedroom, but in the meantime, I need to foster intimacy with God more!
So a solution I have stumbled upon is going for a drive.
In my car I can relax, I can think, I can cry out to God, I can be focussed. It’s great. My car is a place where I often listen to Christian music or sermons and so it has accumulated good, positive, godly memories associated with it. It’s also contained which keeps me focussed and sort of puts my in a “cone of silence” mode where I can go in and pour out my heart.
Come to think of it, it’s a bit like a confessional box or my very own Holy of Holies, where I can go in and do business with God. Or it’s sort of taking Jesus’ advice about prayer when he instructed us saying, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6) although I realize blogging about it means that it’s not done in secret any more. I trust God knows that I only write this to encourage you rather than to boast about my pathetic attempts at a regular prayer life!
At the moment I am praying about something very specific, which I won’t blog about on here, but I will say that the daily short drive at 11:30pm helps me come back to God with my simple petition without spending all day stressing about it.
I know going for a drive maybe isn’t the best way to do quiet time. It means you can’t read the Bible as well and it’s probably not the best for the environment. It probably would be a lot better for me and the planet if I just went for a walk, or cleaned my room and got over my bedroomaphobia. But I have learned over the years that God is kind and he would rather we did whatever we could to spend time with him in prayer, rather than didn’t spend time with him at all.
So that’s my encouragement to you.
If you’re finding prayer a hard thing to do regularly, then do anything, use any tool, any trick, any creative idea, to make it easier for you to spend time chatting with your heavenly father.
Some will say that waking up at 5:30am every day and getting down on your knees next to your bed is great for developing character, but I reckon you first spend time with God (both in prayer and bible study) and then one of the fruits of that is character. Don’t make it harder for yourself and think that impresses God or proves you really love him.
Just pray! However you can, using whatever method is most helpful. God is big enough to meet us in our weakness and apathy and lack of self discipline.
This is a great idea (so long as you don’t close your eyes to pray). Although… 11.30pm? I’m not sure I’d be awake enough to drive at that time of night. 🙂 I can see why you’d find it helpful – I often go for a drive when I need to think. It can be a good little “cone of silence” to help the contemplation process.