You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace.—Isaiah 26:3
How many times, when making an approach to God in prayer, have we gone immediately into a series of petitions that have to do with our problems, our difficulties, our circumstances? And so, by focusing our attention on what is troubling us, we end up wondering whether or not God is big enough or strong enough to help us.
In the first six words of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus shows us a better way. He tells us to take a slow, calm, reassuring gaze at God—at His tenderness, His eagerness to give, His unwearying patience, and untiring love. The result of this, of course, is that we develop a calmness and tranquility in our spirit which means we will find it no longer necessary to plunge into a panicky flood of words.
In some parts of the world one can enroll in courses called “Imagineering”—courses that are designed to stimulate creative imagination. Most of our problems begin in the imagination—hence the instruction in the words of our text for today. “One can never become proficient in prayer,” said one great writer, “until the imagination has been redeemed.” He meant that when the imagination is redeemed from self-concentration, sex-concentration, and sin-concentration, and makes God its primary focus, then it becomes creative-conscious, since its attention is concentrated on the Creator and the Re-Creator. And when the imagination is redeemed, all the doors of the personality fly open.
O God, how can I be calm and tranquil when my imagination is more self-centered than God-centered? Help me to be a God-focused person, not only at prayer times, but at all times. Amen.
How can we “cast down imaginations”?
What has God given to us?