Often, I know what to do, but not how to do it. (Is that true of you, too?)
Thus, I benefit greatly from the personal experience stories shared by others. For example, while reading A Lifetime of Positive Thinking by Ruth Stafford Peale, I eagerly read about how she and her husband, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, sought guidance from God. In one of the many “life stories” she shares in the book, she tells about how they prayed.
The two of them would meet in his office or in a room in their home, and Dr. Peale would often say something like this, “Lord, we have this problem. You know what it is without our telling. Please guide us in the right direction. Make us receptive to Your will.” Having clearly and simply stated their request for God’s guidance, Dr. Peale would conclude the short prayer by saying, “We thank You for this help that You are now giving us.”
As they waited quietly and expectantly for God to answer, they didn’t babble on and on about the specific matter for which they were seeking God’s guidance. Neither did they discuss possible solutions. Instead, they read and/or reflected on relevant verses from the Bible, verses such as: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
After a while, either Dr. or Mrs. Peale would say, “It seems to me this is the way to deal with this” or “I believe we’ve been on the wrong track with this one. Perhaps we should handle it this way.” More likely than not, the other felt the same; and, thus, “a clear line of action would open up where things [had been] obscure before” (p. 20).
After reading about how they prayed, I decided to try it. As I prepared to write this article, I didn’t know what God wanted me to write about. I had lots and lots of ideas, but I didn’t know which one to choose. So, I followed the Peales’ example. I sat quietly “before the Lord” and waited for Him to instruct me. I closed my eyes and suddenly the chorus of the old song, Speak to My Heart popped into my mind. I made those words, written by B.B. McKinney in 1927, the prayer of my heart.
|My sweet Mama, |
who was often yielded and still
in the presence of her God.