I have seen a place where we all rise… God’s symphony lifts clouds in a dance to the skies. All of the heavens are opened at His Gate, there in the roam of a Paradise state.
Kept by a sweetness, I felt someone near- all of life’s friendships, everyone dear. Touched by all heart songs, there I could dance drawn like a bird who could fly into the expanse.
Here in the midst of All Love, I was called into the blushing of winds that worshiped, enthralled. Stepping out from all that keeps us astray the Threshold had beckoned and swept me away.
There were no tears or burdens in this quiet place bright. Sunshine of warmth beckoned all towards The Light. I cast off one shoe, then the other, then Free! Soon I was dancing with another like me.
I remember the Motion that swept through me there cast from some other; as wind through reed’s prayer. This, in holy, roam at God’s heavenly Gate I danced, mingled with the winds in sweet moments elate.
Revelation 21:4 —He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Matthew 7:13-14 -Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Please enjoy the quotes on Prayer from Paul Miller whose bestselling book “A Praying Life” taught Christians how to connect with God in prayer. His website, See Jesus is a wonderful resource for podcasts, blogs, and further teaching as well.
“God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden… The best gift of the desert is God’s presence… The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being “in the know,” cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit… A praying life is just the opposite. It engaged evil. It doesn’t take no for an answer. The psalmist was in God’s face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Prayer is asking God to incarnate, to get dirty in your life. Yes, the eternal God scrubs floors. For sure we know he washes feet. So take Jesus at his word. Ask him. Tell him what you want. Get dirty. Write out your prayer requests; don’t mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don’t let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Cynicism creates a numbness toward life.
Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping.
To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being “in the know,” cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit.
Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope. But the similarity is only surface deep. Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father.
Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life.
Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You’d think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don’t do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life.
The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don’t need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can’t pray because everything out of control, little is possible.
With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism’s ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad.
Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Sometimes when we say “God is silent,” what’s really going on is that he hasn’t told the story the way we wanted it told. He will be silent when we want him to fill in the blanks of the story we are creating. But with his own stories, the ones we live in, he is seldom silent.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“God also cheers when we come to him with our wobbling, unsteady prayers. Jesus does not say, “Come to me, all you who have learned how to concentrate in prayer, whose minds no longer wander, and I will give you rest.” ― Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“Everything you do is connected to who you are as a person and, in turn, creates the person you are becoming. Everything you do affects those you love. All of life is covenant. Imbedded in the idea of prayer is a richly textured view of the world where all of life is organized around invisible bonds or covenants that knit us together. Instead of a fixed world, we live in our Father’s world, a world built for divine relationships between people where, because of the Good News, tragedies become comedies and hope is born.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NASB). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy. What does it feel like to be weary? You have trouble concentrating. The problems of the day are like claws in your brain. You feel pummeled by life. What does heavy-laden feel like? Same thing. You have so many problems you don’t even know where to start. You can’t do life on your own anymore. Jesus wants you to come to him…” ― Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“God is a person, and his universe reflects his personhood. The closer something is to the character of God, the more it reflects him and the less it can be measured. Things such as integrity, beauty, hope, and love are all in the same category as prayer. You can tell their presence and even describe them, but you can’t define them, simply because they are too close to God’s image.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“When confronted with suffering that won’t go away or with even a minor problem, we instinctively focus on what is missing,…not on the Master’s hand. Often when you think everything has gone wrong, it’s just that you’re in the middle of a story. If you watch the stories God is weaving in your life, you… will begin to see the patterns. You’ll become a poet, sensitive to your Father’s voice.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“What do I lose when I have a praying life? Control. Independence. What do I gain? Friendship with God. A quiet heart. The living work of God in the hearts of those I love. The ability to roll back the tide of evil. Essentially, I lose my kingdom and get his. I move from being an independent player to a dependent lover. I move from being an orphan to a child of God.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God. Instead of trying to suppress anxiety, manage it, or smother it with pleasure, we can turn our anxiety toward God. When we do that, we’ll discover that we’ve slipped into continuous praying.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“As we wait and pray, God weaves his story and creates a wonder. Instead of drifting between comedy (denial) and tragedy (reality), we have a relationship with the living God, who is intimately involved with the details of our worlds. We are learning to watch for the story to unfold, to wait for the wonder.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“little children never get frozen by their selfishness. Like the disciples, they come just as they are, totally self-absorbed. They seldom get it right. As parents or friends, we know all that. In fact, we are delighted (most of the time!) to find out what is on their little hearts. We don’t scold them for being self-absorbed or fearful. That is just who they are.” ― Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“Even on especially hard days, I began to notice him everywhere, setting a table before me in the presence of my enemies, pursuing me with his love. Both the child and the cynic walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The cynic focuses on the darkness; the child focuses on the Shepherd.” ― Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You’ll always be a little too tired, a little too busy. But, if like Jesus you realize you can’t do life on your own, then no matter how busy,no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“We know that to become a Christian we shouldn’t try to fix ourselves up, but when it comes to praying we completely forget that. We’ll sing the old gospel hymn, “Just as I Am,” but when it comes to praying, we don’t come just as we are. We try, like adults, to fix ourselves up. Private, personal prayer is one of the last great bastions of legalism. In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the nonpersonal, nonreal praying that you’ve been taught.” ― Paul Miller, A Praying Life
“The quest for a contemplative life can actually be self-absorbed, focused on my quiet and me. If we love people and have the power to help, then we are going to be busy. Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life, it offers us a less busy heart. In the midst of outer business we can develop an inner quiet. Because we are less hectic on the inside, we have a greater capacity to love… and thus to be busy, which in turn drives us even more into a life of prayer. By spending time with our Father in prayer, we integrate our lives with his, with what he is doing in us. Our lives become more coherent. They feel calmer, more ordered, even in the midst of confusion and pressure.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
“If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“One of the subtlest hindrances to prayer is probably the most pervasive. In the broader culture and in our churches, we prize intellect, competency, and wealth. Because we can do life without God, praying seems nice but unnecessary. Money can do what prayer does, and it is quicker and less time-consuming. Our trust in ourselves and in our talents makes us structurally independent of God. As a result, exhortations to pray don’t stick.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“Many Christians give in to a quiet cynicism that leaves us unknowingly paralyzed. We see the world as monolithic, frozen. To ask God for change confronts us with our doubt about whether prayer makes any difference. Is change even possible? Doesn’t God control everything? If so, what’s the point? Because it is uncomfortable to feel our unbelief, to come face-to-face with our cynicism, we dull our souls with the narcotic of activity. Many Christians haven’t stopped believing in God; we have just become functional deists, living with God at a distance. We view the world as a box with clearly defined edges. But as we learn to pray well, we’ll discover that this is my Father’s world. Because my Father controls everything, I can ask, and he will listen and act. Since I am his child, change is possible—and hope is born.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
“Nothing clears out self-righteousness better than serving someone who is critical of you.” ― Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life
Heart curves to the Face of such beauty seen, His Nature’s sweet bidding upon tender lights gleaned, easing all burdens and the graspings that lean, in the ancient cathedral of God’s sweet serene.
Come close and allow us to breathe all of You Love blesses each morning that sprinkles Your dew, I pray into Your wonders as they wrap us full through, Your Hidden – what Beauty! We are safe in Your pew.
The Heavens fly through in the treetops soft swing. The Cathedral is hushed by the joy of our King. Wrapped in His nature, the Peace of God sings. And loved in Forever, we rejoice worshiping.
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple. Psalm 27:4
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will behold a far-distant land. Isaiah 33:17
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-12