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My prayer life contains so many off-ramps.

Dip into distraction. Settle into self-centeredness. Tread into the to-do list. Slip back to sleep.

Maybe you have them, too.

Over the last month, I’ve been posting a lot about prayer, lectio divina, abandoning prayer, and even prayer planners.

This reflects the deeper questions, the deeper longings in my life to connect with God through prayer. To shift from living for God to with God. To rediscover God as my every inhale and tender exhale.

In spending more time in prayer, in simply being with God, I’m rediscovering the power of lingering.

In The Sacred Echo: Hearing God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life, I described God as one-part asking and one part-waiting and one part-listening.

Perhaps I should have added a fourth-part: Lingering.

Lingering is a lost art in a rushed, deadline-driven, always-running-behind world. People who linger long after an event is over are sometimes seen as awkward or even annoying, but they never look that way to God.

God always welcomes those who linger.

Those who linger stay in a place longer than necessary.

They wait.

They stay.

They remain.

They endure.

They last.

They keep on.

They persist.

They continue.

They are not rushed.

They are not hurried.

They are not scrambling.

Read these short statements again. Do you recognize them?

Many of them are the embodiment of faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13).

Those who linger with God radiate the character of Christ.

In the lingering…

God waits for you.

God meets you.

God surprises you.

In the lingering…

Your spiritual receptivity is heightened.

Your spiritual questions are given space to go deeper.

Your spiritual eyes are opened to experience God in new ways.

In the lingering…

You can shift from working for God to being with God.

You can invite God to reveal and heal.

You can talk with God instead of about God.

Those who linger with God find that God lingers with them.

The lingering mindset shifts the way we re-emerge in the day. We are no longer leaving a prayer or study time—prayer and study come with us. The presence, the stillness, the grace follows us and transforms us…and those we encounter.

My hope and prayer is that today you’ll take time to linger with God…to embrace Him as He embraces you.

Recommended Reading: The Sacred Slow by Alicia Chole. This book is one of the most powerful, challenging reads I’ve encountered in a long time. I can’t recommend it enough. To learn more about her spiritual mentoring and directing, visit aliciachole.com

 

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