Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Winter wonderland

Been going through the book "prayer" by Richard Foster. This is a heavy book to read and so I am going through it in stages as I feel the H/S promptings.

Just finished the chapter called Formative prayer, which is the process of transformation to be Christ like.

He opens with this, which I fell in love with....The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that by the power of the Spirit we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son. Isn't that such a beautiful way of summing up prayer.

He talks about how in our walk of eagerly pursuing God, we are slowly moulded and shaped bit by bit, IF we allow ourselves to be.

In fact as I read this chapter I saw myself, and realised that this chapter is where I am in life. How I am being drawn into Solitude. How I am being stripped away of all I hold dear to me, and also of parts of me, branches, you could say, that are dead.

I realise how much pride I have in me. I was so proud that "my calling" is prayer.contemplative, meditative prayer.Now I cant even pray the simplest prayer. There is no desire, nothing, its all flat flat flat. I began to think that that I was "so special" because I heard constantly from God. Now it feels like everything I say bounces and echo's back to me.

Its been months and months now like this. However I know that I am bathed in grace. I can feel it, sense it, KNOW it. God is good. He is loving, and He is kind. I am being held at an arms length, but its Him who is doing the holding and I am safe.

Richard Foster calls this the Blessedness of Winter.To the outward eye everything looks barren and unsightly. Our many defeats, flaws, weaknesses and imperfections stand our in bold relief. ( and in my eyes they are so glaring). But only the outward virtues have collapsed, the principle of virtue is actually being strengthened.
The soul is venturing forth into the interior. Real solitude,enduring virtues begin to develop deep within. Pure love is being birthed.

I cant claim this as my own as I feel nothing.As painful as this is, I must accept that this is where I am and humbly as God that through Christ, our Lord, that He continue the good work that He started.

I declared simply to God last night that I loved Him so much. He answered gently but loudly...Love is not enough, You (Karen) have to be obedient.


Terry said...

Hi Karen
John; 14:21 (He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.)
Jesus emphasized the need for the habitual practice of obedience to His commands as evidence of the believers love for Him and the Father.
Very nice blog today!!

sister sheri said...

It's not so coincidental that I just borrowed this book from the library... you had mentioned it to me about a month back.

"Winter preserves and strengthens a tree... its sap is forced deeper and deeper into its interior depth..." ...easier read than done!And so... you feel nothing... could it be that your nothing is not really the truth? That there is something else going on that is holding back and not letting you experience your former life of communion? Health?

sister sheri said...

In reply: That is an interesting concept... to have even the emotional attachment taken away. I know what you are talking about... just never thought of it in that way.

Have a blessed weekend, Karen!

journey of faith said...

Hi Karen! I am praying for your winter to end!

I have experienced similar times as well... feeling really dried up and withered spiritually... as if I was alone... we are never alone or forsaken, never!! Persevere my friend, Hope does not disappoint!!

Romans 5: 1-5 are some of my favorite verse to read when these times hit...

"3we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

hugs and prayers, Rhonda

elizabeth embracing life said...

Once practiced into a habit, prayer will be your passion and pursuit in and out of every moment. Thanks for sharing your heart.