Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pour Out Your Heart

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. --
Psalms 62:8 (ESV)
Learning to pray constantly requires ever-present practice.  I gained a good insight into this from Alexander Whyte's sermons (Lord Teach Us To Pray, Christian Ethereal Library.) We sail through our days and we find all kinds of things happening to us and around us.  Who does not go through a wide range of emotions in a day -- joy, gratitude, peace, and being tickled to worry, dread, anxiety, anger, fear, and frustration?  Sometimes other people are there and might even be the cause of the feelings.  Frequently, we may find ourselves alone with these feelings not knowing what to do with them.  This is powerful verse in the advice it supplies.  "At all times" with everything that might be going on within us there is a place to "unload" it.  God is always and everywhere prepared and ready to receive whatever we're thinking or feeling.  As we pour out our hearts to God, God turns God's heart around and sends back to us faith, peace, and assurance.

Recently, I've been working with praying the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.")  There is an interesting calm that comes to my soul after saying it a few dozen times.  I have reflected occasionally however, wondering if God might get a little bored (inattentive??) with the repetition.  Suddenly, thinking about prayer as pouring out my heart opens up a lot of other (significant) things to pray in a less repetitive way that God happily hears and embraces in WHATEVER I think or feel.  But, the things of my heart are not like putting out the trash.  I mean I'm not just dumping them at God's feet - I'm putting them on God's own heart.  God cares enough that if something is weighing on my heart and interfering with my walk with God enough that I have to share it, suddenly God feels what I feel too.  Out of the depths of God's compassion then flows the very divine care, love, and support that only God knows.  After pouring out my heart long enough -- until I'm "spent," the best calming assurance comes.  It feels like a true refuge.  So much so that it can be hard to want to leave it, which, of course, we must.  But, even that gets you to once again enter into praying and pouring out your heart all over again.

God you made us, and did not just hurl us off to fend for ourselves.  You stay interested and in love with us, wanting to hear everything about our day.  Help us find the safe refuge in you to pour out our failings, our successes, our worries, our joys and do it through Christ, by Christ, and in Christ.  Amen.  

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