Have you a problem praying?
Do you sometimes find it hard to pray?
Does the word “meditation” put you off? You feel meditation’s not really your thing?
Perhaps you think “I wouldn’t even know where to start.” Have no fear; I have great news to share with you.
Meditation, your birthright
Let me assure you that every Christian can meditate. It’s really quite straightforward, even easy. Forget, for a moment, all you may have heard about other kinds of meditation.
They often seem complicated, unfamiliar, even a bit out of your comfort zone.
Christian Meditation is quite simply talking with God.
It’s more than just reciting set prayers, created by someone else. Meditation is speaking in your very own words, because you are unique, one of a kind and special to God. God really wants to hear what you’ve got to say.
Meditation is opening up your heart to Him.
Sharing your deepest feelings, concerns, hopes and fears. A moment of Divine Intimacy. God answers by filling your heart and mind with all that is good, holy, true and joyful.
Surely the problem is my sin?
“But why.” you ask, “would God be interested in what I’ve got to say? I’ve always been told that I’m a sinner, unworthy to be close to God.”
The answer is love. It’s all about love. Life’s all about love.
A loving person fully respects, accepts and opens to the other. And so does God. We have even seen the Infinite Love of God take on our human flesh in Jesus.
As John’s gospel assures us, “God is Love.”
After all, you believe God is Infinite Love, don’t you? You know that He created you in love. He sustains your life at every second, because He still loves you passionately.
He never takes back His Love for you. He has prepared a special place for you in His Everlasting Kingdom.
Our Faith teaches us, without any doubt, all these beautiful truths.
God’s Love for everyone
God loves you, unreservedly. That is the naked gospel truth; and it doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter how sinful you feel. It doesn’t matter if you think God is going to punish you for your “grevous offences,” send you to Hell for ever.
Let the gospel truth set you free.
Let me repeat. The truth is “God is Love.” He can never reject you.
We need to hear that message over and over again. We must feel totally secure in God’s Love. Why?
Because, traditionally, people have got very mixed messages about God. After all, He is said to send people to Hell. Doesn’t that throw an almighty spanner in the works?
Hell Fire and Damnation?
We need to be crystal clear about who and what God really is. And what He’s not.
He’s not an ogre. He’s not a monster. He’s not a God of “Hell Fire and Damnation.” How could a Loving God even think of such a horrific revenge on His own children? Would you?
He will most certainly take you to Heaven when you die. You’re made for Heaven; it’s your true home. Eternal Bliss is just a heartbeat away.
If all that is true, and you firmly believe that it’s true, then talking to God is easy. It’s easy to talk with someone friendly who knows you, accepts you and would never hurt you. Someone who loves you.
A Chat with your Divine Lover
So if you believe, with all your heart, that God’s in Love with you, then talk with Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Speak to Him as lovers do.
Tell Him what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you. Share with God your deepest desires, fears, worries and concerns.
Above all, banish all fear from your heart. Fear has been a massive weapon in the hands of people who simply don’t really believe that God is Love.
“He’s a loving God, yes, but He’s also committed to Justice,” they say. “He saves the good guys, but He has to punish the bad guys.”
Salvation for all?
Let’s never forget that God is quite clever too. After all, He’s infinitely Wise. Don’t you think God could find a way of bringing round the “bad guys” to His way of thinking?
Help them to see the error of their ways?
Convert them to a better frame of mind?
Forgive them, like Jesus did on the cross? Embrace them as a mother her rebellious, troubled and broken son?
Sending them to Hell, “for all Eternity” would mean that God’s given up on them for ever. He’s lost the fight with evil.
Can you imagine yourself being perfectly happy in Heaven, knowing that “just down the road,” as it were, there are countless people suffering eternal torment? Maybe even people you knew and loved?
Could you live with the thought of “Satan” laughing his head off at God? “God’s a loser,’ he cries in triumph, as he stokes up the fire.
No way! Surely this can’t be the true meaning of the metaphor about the sheep and the goats. For me God is always the winner. He can’t lose, for His Love will always find a way.
The Secret Key to easy prayer
So, for me, the golden key to prayer and meditation is to realize that “God is Love.”
Just as you find it easy and delightful to talk with the “love of your life,” in the same way it will be easy and delightful to talk with the “Infinite Love of your life.”
If your thinking about God is in the right place, then it’s just so simple to pray. It will be the spontaneous overflow of a heart filled with gratitude, love and peace.
Why not find a little time each day to have a chat with God? That’s all meditation is.
The reward will be a whole new relationship with your Divine Love, as you wait until He calls you back home.
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Gerry McCann (The Merry Monk)