Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Conversation is a Two Way Deal

It's 10:30 p.m. and it's quiet in my house - a time of peace and stillness that I relish. It's like the whole house, me included, takes a deep breath, lets it out, and rests. This is the time when God and I often talk... ..well, mostly I talk and He listens because I tend to forget that conversation is a two way deal.

I wish I could do my talking and listening in the early morning like my sister does. She's so disciplined and I'm so...not. She gets up at 5:15, showers and gets her coffee and goes to her "nest" in the sunroom to do her Bible study and prayer time before work. I wake up and hit the floor "doing" instead of listening. Busy, busy and in constant movement - that's me. Even if I'm sitting I'm doing, sewing, organizing, clipping coupons, studying, reading. I struggle to just be still. To just listen. Oh I talk to Him all day long but the listening, not so much. I talk to Him when I'm sewing and when I'm cooking (yes I do cook....once in a while), and when I'm driving, and when I'm sweeping. But I can envision God sitting up there saying, "Marlene, would you just slow down a bit and let's have a good visit!" I think He likes it when I focus on Him instead of trying to multi-task.

Anyway, I was thinking all of that tonight as I sat here in the quiet and then it dawned on me...God doesn't sleep. I remembered reading that in Psalms so I looked it up - Psalms 121:3-4 "He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps." He probably doesn't care what time I talk to Him! Yippee!

Uh Oh. Psalms 127:2 on the very next page of my Bible says, "It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones." I think this just might be a reminder to me that conversation with Him should come first and work should come second.

Do you have a particular time that you do your study and prayer and conversation? Do you have a special place?

25 comments:

sMC said...

I don't pray as I don't have a faith as you do Marlene. But I too love the quiet of the night. We usually have a quiet house, but at night time especially after midnight its the stillness just calm and peace. I love that time to myself. I also like to sit on the back doorstep in the early morning watching the goldfish eat, listening to the birds. Now I think of it. The quiet and stillness of early morning and late night.
btw I love your posts, very thought provoking. Things to think about in that stillness :)

ivoryspring said...

Hi Marlene,

Mine is probably at night too. I am not a morning person... so to do it in the morning kind of defeats the purpose as I am still half-asleep! ;)

Great post.

Marie said...

Great post Marlene. As you know I am a praying woman. I have to say that most of the time I have a dialogue running through my mind with God, but I pray heart to heart in the mornings right when I get up and in the evenings just before bed. I'm so glad though that He is always listening no matter the time, place or occasion!

Lena . . . said...

Your entry is peaceful in itself. Thanks for the thought provoking words. I need to make more time for listening also.

Joyful said...

I get up at about 5:50am every morning to spend time in God's Word and seeking Him before my day starts to race away. I then wake my son at 6:40am and once I have taken him to school and stopped off and had a work-out on the treadill, I come home to spend a hour with God in prayer. Does that hour always happen right away? No, sometimes other demands change that time.

I do have what my sister calls a "prayer room" - it's just a very quiet sitting room upstairs in our home, but I don't always go there...I know God meets with me in every room of my home.

I too rejoice that God never slumbers or sleeps - I need Him 24/7!!

Resting in Him,
Joy

Gene Black said...

I am with you Marlene. My quiet time is at night just before bed. If I did it in the morning, I would fall asleep and miss it and probably be late for work.

The great thing is that God takes us as we are - He made us the way we are so OF COURSE it is okay with Him.

(I use the traditional He/Him even though I know that God transcends gender - neither male nor female but with aspects of both)

Letters From Midlife said...

My best prayer times are in bed before I get up in the morning. My husband gets up early for work and in the hour or so between when he leaves and when I need to get our son up for school, I spend the time in bed praying. I love intercessory prayer where I can take concerns, people and praise to the throne of grace!

I try to spend Bible reading time after I drop our son off at school, before I get started with the chores of the day.

Cornfield Quilter said...

I love your post! It is so refreshing to have someone post about their time with the Lord. Bless you for this. I talk to God all the time, but my favorite is on the way to work in the morning. Living in rural America there is little traffic and so with the sun rising it is a wonderous view of his almighty glory. I wonder why he put me on this earth and so I pray that I am being the person he wants me to be. Meeting all you wonderful bloggers has been a blessing for me. Who would have thought a year ago that I would have a blog and would be writing to you?? I wonder, why has God put you in my life? Do you ever wonder?

Sharon said...

I love your blog! And I really appreciate this post. I need to establish a certain time of day to devote to Bible reading and talking with the Lord, but I'm not disciplined enough. I listen to Christian radio all the time in my car but my favorite time is really in the night when everyone else is fast asleep. Some times I'll pull up OnePlace.com on the internet and select a sermon. And I really think God doesn't care when or how we pray but it is important to pray. And if we don't slow down enough to hear His answer, He will get our attention somehow. Thanks for a wonderful blog!

Linda said...

I feel God doesn't care where or when, so I talk to him all day as I go about my business. His hand is in all of it anyway. I don't listen enough some days, but I am getting better!!

Vicky said...

I've kind of fallen by the wayside and don't do what I know I should do....however, I like to sing and talk to God while I'm driving and also while fixing supper. Somehow talking to God makes all right with the world.

Lori said...

I try and do it in the morning when the house is quiet but I struggling with keeping a regular quiet time. I too am a do-er as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. My feet tend to hit the floor running. I do pray as compelled all day long and I like to think God's phone lines are open even when I'm not in specific prayer time. Some nights I can pray before I go to bed but I'm usually too sleepy by then. I am a work in progress, that's for sure.

sparkle jars said...

I've been known to pray in my car in the garage...no telephones calls or distractions. It's a strange place to pray, but it works
for me:-).
I continue to enjoy your posts.

Lelia Chealey said...

This is so neat Marlene. I loved this!!

Dawn said...

As soon as that school bus leaves & I walk up the driveway, my quiet time as begun. And I relish that He is there, waiting for me to pour my heart out to Him...then it's chores, obligations, must-do, etc...and He is still there.

Thanks for sharing, Marlene.

Cyndy said...

Love your post today! The best time for me is in bed at night when the house is quiet. I have a friend who always gets up an hour earlier than everyone else to spend time in prayer and bible study. I wish I could do that, but I'm not a morning person (God would really be spending more time trying to unscramble my thoughts if it was too early!) Sometimes I think I'm not doing Him justice by not getting up earlier and making the sacrifice! Thanks for a great post today. I've been praying for our country all day!

brenco1 said...

Marlene, you sound like me with the quiet time discipline that I need. Talking to God is a priority,but the listening part,well sometimes he probably wishes I would listen more. The joy is knowing He is there and he never leaves me. May God Bless You

Tracy P. said...

I recognize those "Stepping Up" psalms! Yes, conversation first! Because you know, getting the things on the to do list done isn't what takes up so much time. It's the figuring out how you're gonna do it all that does. (At least for me.) And honestly, a lot of the stuff that gets on my mental to do list needs to be left on God's to do list. Much more efficient that way. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm beginning to try to get up a half hour before my family more often, and I like it. It doesn't make me a perfect wife and mom for the day, but I like the quiet and still time with the Lord.

em's scrapbag said...

I take time in the morning for prayer and scripture study. But like you I probably do not listen likle I should.

Sue said...

My time is early in the morning before I leave for work. I get my shower, my cup of coffee, my Bible and go to my sunroom. Some mornings I see the sunrise and know that God has painted a picture just for me. If I don't take the time first thing...my day just doesn't go as smoothly. However, I MUST slow down and listen. I, too, am always doing something and I know that the verse, "BE STILL and know that I am God" was put there for me. THank you for such a beautiful post.

Milah said...

I'm like you and my husband is like your sister. I talk to God all day long. I start first thing in the morning before I even get out of bed. I say short little prayers of things that's burdening to me and praise him with thanksgiving. I tried the paryer journal for a while but that was too rigid for me. We also pray at meals.

nyafarmgirl said...

What a great post. Makes me stop and think. I too am much more a talker than a listener. My quiet time is also at night seems like it has always been even as a young girl. Glad I found your blog. I have enjoyed looking around at all your wonderful creations and inspirational words.
:)Ginger

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As soon as the kids go to school and then I do my major studying at night before going to bed. I forego tv for Jesus. Not a bad trade in my opinion. I can't believe you won that quilt. It's beautiful!

peace~elaine

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Oh Marlene, I so wish I would do my study, reading or praying in the morning. I start to pray at night and my mind want shut off sometimes. Hope to change. You always get a person thinking...
Hugs,
Bonnie

Oma aka Meme said...

you are so right- how easy we let these things slip- I talk to God more now than I used too but I also need to pray more- some folks do seem to put these two together as one but once you have fell to your knees crying out to God to help you and not to forsake you - you find that praying is easier if you just talk- sigh-