by Pastor Mike Carlson, Lead Pastor
Noise fills my ears. The beeping of a text message, the TV and radio, my barking dog…all add to the cacophony that fills all the empty space. Sound is abundant.
Until a week ago. I was on top of a mountain in Wyoming on a rock with no cell phone. I was able to sit for over one hour in the presence of God. It was holy.
I do not need to go to Wyoming to have this experience. Often at home or in my office I have taken to the practice of turning off the noise and just going deep into prayer. I take a few breaths, I call on the power of the Trinity, and just rest in the presence for some time.
From time to time I call to mind people I want to bring before the healing light of God. Faces appear in my mind, and I see them filled with light and grace.
I will also visualize situations in my world that break my heart… a missing girl in Wisconsin, people wrestling with faith, those encountering poverty. I see these things and visualize Jesus bringing light, hope, and joy into their world.
I fill my internal prayer space with people in need and see Jesus tending to them. It is for me a geography of prayer, a place I hold in my heart for those for whom I pray.
The more I visit this internal prayer space the easier it is to access. Even in times of distraction and noise I can go to this place. It is a subtle moment to invoke the Trinity and rest in the presence of God with all those needs and hurts we carry for each other.
It is also in this place I find space to lift up to God my own interior struggles. It is near to the place that I hold many of my demons, fears, insecurities and losses. I see them all. I notice them, even call them by name. It is in this place I also see Jesus holding a candle and dispelling the lies that try to trick me into not trusting in the grace of Jesus for my daily survival.
The bright, loving, yet strong power of Jesus shines in this place always. I just forget to notice it from time to time. This is when the noise of my brokenness is deafening. I believe that this is why we are afraid of silence. For it is in silence we confront our loudest adversaries. This is why we need prayer.
Our God is at work in us. The power of the Triune God is at work in you to silence the dangerous words of self-righteousness or self-hate that break our relationships with God and one another.
Sisters and brothers, find some space. Let God work on you. Feel the graceful and loving presence of God in you bringing you peace and setting you free.