By Ruth Pradzynski
I remember several years ago at a Christian women’s meeting, the speaker challenged us: “If there was one thing that you could do that would make a difference in your spiritual life this year, what would it be? I challenge you to do that one thing.”
I knew right away what my one thing would be: to have a daily quiet time with God. I had never done this consistently, and I thereupon set a goal, to have a quiet time with God, daily. And it truly transformed my life.
I had always “not been good at” prayer. My mind wanders – I have trouble keeping focused. It seemed so boring, a vain repetition. But I’m a writer. Writing comes naturally to me, and I feel best when I write every day. So I began the spiritual practice of prayer journaling, writing my prayers. I got up every morning and spent the first hour in prayer journaling.
My life changed. I began not only writing my own thoughts and prayers but waiting and writing down the responses I received from that still small voice.
I developed a relationship with God.
Before this, I had thought that it was really impossible to do. People claimed to have a relationship with God, but I thought they were either lying or fooling themselves. How do you develop a relationship with someone you cannot see or hear from?
But as I persisted with my daily quiet time with God, I discovered that He had a variety of ways of communicating with me. Sometimes, it would be a passage of Scripture during my Bible reading that suddenly stood out, highlighted for me. Sometimes it was words or an image dropped into my mind. Sometimes it was a dream that vividly spoke to me or a feeling of “ick”, a check in the spirit when I was about to do or say something.
None of these things were obtrusive; all were easily overlooked. If I didn’t pay careful attention, any one of them could be dismissed. But if I paid attention, I realized that God was talking to me. What a blessing it was to know that He cared enough to give me direction and help when I needed it.
Sometimes the impressions I received were warnings. I remember one morning I dreamed that God was playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I was His game piece. He rolled the dice and announced, “Ruth has taken 22 hits of damage.” Then I woke up, laughing at the silly dream. But later in the day, I got a very disturbing call from my governing body, the Law Society, and found out that I had indeed received 22 hits of damage.
I wish I could say that I have consistently maintained this spiritual practice every day since, but it would not be true. I had the practice of getting up early every morning to pray; I maintained it faithfully for several years. Then one day I decided to sleep in and didn’t get my quiet time in. Not a biggie, I thought. Then, a week or so later, I did it again, two days in a row. And before you know it, my habit was gone, and getting up to pray became the exception, rather than the rule.
Forgive me and help me to be faithful. Let this time with You be the most important time in my day. Let me hunger and thirst for You, more than for food and water. Let me spend time with You, in deep communication every day. In Jesus’ Name, I pray.