Monday, October 31, 2011

Walking and Keeping Company

Sometimes I get a bit hung up with the word "pray". It somehow brings thoughts of something I need to "do" into my mind, and I can feel guilty for not spending more time "praying". Or discouraged that my requests have not been granted. And at times like these, I need to ask God to remind me of what praying really is.

And I have been reminded of some words that free my mind, and tell me in a language that speaks to my heart, of what prayer is.

"Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life.
Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with Me,
and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
(Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

Walking with, keeping company with - the words that give clarity. The focus is not on my asking and requesting things, but the focus is on the keeping company with, on my sharing what is on my heart. And listening to what is on His heart. And the sharing of words of love, His towards me, and mine towards Him. Just as in my relationship with my husband, or another family member or close friend.

When my focus becomes misplaced, when all my energy is spent on wishing for the thing I am "praying" about and desiring, then I find myself in an unsettled place. But by using my energies to keep in step with Him, communicating with Him all through my days, I find myself living freely and lightly, even in the midst of trials and hard times. 

Loving Lord, thank You for these words as I walk along the path with You - calling me (again) to focus first of all on keeping company with You, sharing my heart with You, and listening to Yours. And in the midst of this keeping company, and this walking together, I can live freely and lightly as I watch You at work.

Thanking You for blessings along the way:

~ the vibrant, brilliant colors of fall - seen on a walk through our town (photo above).
~ warm connections with our six grown children - so much love for each of them.
~ a good visit with cousins, time together with them at my father's apartment.
~ time to wash windows in our basement playroom (a much needed task done).
~ more progress learning digital scrapbooking.
~ prayer time with Campus Ministry staff, and a productive meeting with our SV staff.
~ more firewood brought to us for the upcoming cold winter days.
~ for sweet grandkids - time spent with two little boys one evening.
~ the aroma of Maple Pumpkin Muffins baking.
~ our roof replaced by insurance - the result of a bad hail storm earlier this season.
~ reminders to keep my focus in the best place - on You.

(One Thousand Gifts #719-729)

Linking up with Multitudes on Mondays, The Wellspring


  1. I can always use this reminder too, Cherry. Funny, it's in the "nontraditional" praying ways that I usually feel closest to our good Lord. Worth thinking about further, I think :)>

  2. This is a beautiful meditation and I appreciate reading your thoughts. I've been reading much on prayer lately during my quest for stillness. There are so many ways to come closer, to walk with Him, and not all of them need words.

  3. Hi Cherry, I'm here from The Wellspring today--so glad you posted there and that I clicked on this post. This really resonates with me as someone who truly believes in prayer, but sometimes find myself a little intimidated by the doing of it. I always do better when I don't think of it as something I need to do, but instead Someone I love to be with! Thank you for this!

  4. I love this gorgeous and fall all the more stunning since I have been away from it for 3 years! I love the Message for these beautiful and the reminder of the things I want to keep close to my heart! much love:}

  5. Hey there :) The Message really helps to see the verse in a new light - I love the thought of walking and working with God, and keeping company with Him. Takes the focus off the 'doing' and back on the 'being' doesn't it? I must make more time to keep His company. Thanks for these lovely thoughts.