A lot of times people hear about the time we spend in the prayer room and say "Wow - I would love to do that...but I don't know if I could...how do you pray for those extended periods?" To be honest, I don't think I'm wired for this any better than any one else. There are times I'm horrible at it. So...if we were designed for communion with the Father, what makes it difficult?
I was reading through 1 Peter the other day and something jumped off the page at me.
1 Peter 4:7,8
The end of all things is near; therefore be clear minded and self control so that you can pray.
Apparently, there are two things that stand in the way of our ability to engage with God, one being a lack of a clear mind, the other being the lack of self control. Entire libraries are full of books on self control...but what's it mean to be clear minded? After doodling the idea for a while in my journal, I think I'm getting somewhere. Here's the theory...
To be clear minded is to be free of distractions...not drawn to side issues. I'm not talking about the shopping list or a crying baby. Those sort of things are going to be everywhere...but what are the things we carry that keep us from being clear minded before the Lord? I think it has to do with the past...and the future.
In relation to the past, to be clear minded means to have a clear conscience. This doesn't mean having led a perfect life - if that were the case, we could throw this whole concept out immediately. It means having dealt with the wrongs in your past, whether distant or recent, and being able to stand in this place in time before God without the weight of misdoings hanging over your head. It's hard to be clear minded when you keep going back to something that you regret.
In relation to the future, to be clear minded means to have pure motives. There are a host of people who have allowed God to deal with their past and yet fully intend on repeating some of the behaviors, thinking that once they're done, they'll let God deal with it again. That willful intent to sin in the future makes for a very cloudy present. If you're motives are not Godly, it's difficult to claim clear mindedness.
This morning, I hope you can find your way to that place of clear mindedness....anchored rearward with a clearn conscience and anchored forward with pure motives. In that place, you'll find it much easier to engage your heart with His.