Do you have a place each day where you spend time talking with God. I hope and pray that you do because mine is so special to me. Please allow me to share my “God space” with you. I hope that through words I can capture some of its uniqueness. Then I hope that many of you will email me back and tell me about where you encounter God in prayer. Okay, now it’s off to the hot tub.
All of my life I have been an early riser. My time varies a little between 3:30 and 4:30am, but usually it is 4am, 7 days a week. After setting the morning coffee on brew, I head for the Hot Tub. The hot tub sets on my back raised deck just off the master bathroom. We are blessed to live in the mountains of South Carolina right on the North and South Carolina border. We live in a total natural setting. We have several acres and there are no houses in sight at this time of year with all of the foliage out. This setting offers spectacular long distance views. So it is in this setting that I come each morning to talk to the Creator of this beauty and of all that is.
Because I am up so early and do to our very remote location it seems that from the view in our hot tub that no one else on the planet is awake except God and me. This allows me to actually audibly talk to God out loud. Allow me to set the stage for this morning’s prayer time.
As I entered the hot tub at 4:30am there was lightning in the far off clouds, the type of lightning that we would call heat lightning, not the bolts of lightning like in a storm, but the orange/red flashes of light in the sky with a very far off sound of thunder. There was a stiff breeze blowing. The usual morning symphony of cicadas was unusually quite this morning no doubt a result of the storm and rain that had passed through earlier in the night. A few cicadas could still be heard but not with the deafening sound like many early mornings. There was however still the customary chirping of crickets. I heard an owl off in the distance. As the leaves fluttered in the wind I heard a branch fall from a tree and its crash suddenly disrupted the normal nighttime sounds. It was very dark this morning and there were no visible stars and the moon was blanketed by the heavy rain clouds. Currently there is no rain falling. And in this setting, after I settled into the warm water, I began my daily conversation with God.
“Good morning Father,” I said. “I come before you and admit I am weak and You are strong. I am human and You are God. I long for the day to be in Heaven with You. Father I am incapable of salvation except through your Son Jesus Christ. Save me Lord!” These were the words that came to me this morning as I prayed out loud in the darkness.
Then I spent time reflecting on the events of the previous day, acknowledging my failings and praising God for his many countless blessing in my life. I thanked God for my wife and children, for our health, for those close to me who have died, for my friends, for all of you, and I prayed for many other special intentions. These were all spontaneous prayers that were on my mind.
Next I followed up the spontaneous prayers with some lifelong memorized prayers that have always had great meaning for me.
I prayed, “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, not because of Thy just punishment, but because my sins offend Thee my God who are all good and deserving of all of my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the nearest occasion of sin. Amen.”
Next I prayed the prayer Jesus taught us. “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
Then I asked for Mary to intercede on my behalf with her Son. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee, Blessed art Thou among woman and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
Then in conclusion I prayed, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Next as usual, I just sat quietly and listened. This morning in the quiet of my heart I heard God say, “Brian, share this experience in your 4thdayletters”, and so now I have.
This is my 15 to 20 minute ritual each morning. It is where I go to be with God. Where do you have your time with our Lord? Please respond and let me know where your daily special time and place is with God. Then in some future edition of 4thdayletters, perhaps I can share everyone’s responses. Let me hear from you.