Scripture: Job 23.3-4
If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
Editor’s Note: Today we explore a new format for reflection.
Guided prayers and meditations are a common part of Christian spiritual practice. Today we will focus on some verses from today’s reading from Job and guide ourselves through a prayer through scripture and into our world. Like walking through a park on your way to work, let this guided prayer help you carry freshness and beauty with you through your day.
Return to this prayer through the day or over the weekend, as it will be a different experience based on your mood and surroundings…We begin with the words of Job…
Reflection: Finding God :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
Scripture often speaks of God’s hand being “heavy” in times of distress.
What complaint do you have to carry to God?
What weighs heavy on your heart in this moment from your personal life? From your city? From your nation or from world news?
Pursue God with your thoughts and prayer…If your surroundings allow, actually get up and walk for this portion of the prayer time…
But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
Pursuit of God often begins as a pursuit of our answers. Our solutions. To place our arguments before him. We are hunting our own concerns and God is merely a means to our ends.
Slow the pace of your walking. Notice your surroundings. Notice others. Notice your need, not of your answers, but of God’s presence.
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
It doesn’t matter how wholeheartedly we seek the answer to a prayer, we will find God when our wholehearted search is for his presence, not for something else that we want.
Follow God’s footsteps through his Word, and pursue his presence over the weekend. He wants to speak to you. He wants to walk with you.
Prayer: The Request for Presence
I call with my whole heart; answer me, O Lord, that I may keep your statues.
Hear my voice, O Lord, according to your loving-kindness; according to your judgments, give me life. — Psalm 119.145fff
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.