There's Value in Stillness of Mind
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Dare I Be Still? "Isn't it dangerous attempting to empty your mind of all thoughts, feelings and images? Isn't an idle mind the devil's workshop?" That question has risen in every class on contemplative prayer I've been in. First, I doubt that we can do it. It's almost impossible to stop the mind from thinking. Our goal's not an idle mind, but a quiet and stilled mind. We try to recall all our wandering thoughts and center ourselves totally in God. A simple prayer word or phrase helps us do this. We want to hold one simple prayer in our mind and heart. In time, our clamoring thoughts begin to quiet. We long to give "loving attentiveness" to God. We want to sit still and silent in the Presence. "The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth be silent before him." (Habakkuk 2:20) Our most eloquent words and creative images are so paltry before Him. "Silence is God's primary language, all else is a poor translation." Second, we need to remember who lives within us. God, in Jesus Christ, through the person of the Holy Spirit, indwells the heart of every believer. We don't come to prayer as empty vessels, even though we may often feel so. Through centering ourselves in God, we find wholeness and healing from the fragmentation. The devil doesn't live within the believer - Jesus does. In contemplative prayer, we're surrendering ourselves to this Christ within. We enter into the silence of our own hearts and find ourselves in the silence of God. What joy and peace there is in Him. Third, 1 John 4:4 reminds us, "the one who's in you is greater than the one who's in the world." Jesus says, "... take heart, I've overcome the world." (John 16:33) As you continue your journey with God, you may find yourself beset with fears, guilt and temptations of all kinds, even during your prayer times. Offer them to God. God's wanting to bring healing and wholeness to the deepest recesses of your mind and heart. Bad thoughts, evil images can surface from a subconscious that has been bombarded by and entertained such for a life time. They're not likely from the evil one. God's wanting to surface, cleanse and heal all our brokeness. We can welcome the stillness and silence. God's there!


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