I've been silent, at a loss for words, uncertain I can begin to express the horror yet admiration, the awfulness yet awe, both appalled yet adoring, mortified yet thankful, deeply shamed yet convicted over this horrible yet beautiful act of Jesus. Reflecting on this horrific yet blessed act of love fills me again with overwhelming love for my Savior - what a wretched yet glorious day! how could my Lord beautifully yet awfully silent, perfectly yet mortifyingly humble walk thru the humiliation and torture spurred on by evil and dealt out by sinful man. And yet, "for the joy set before Him", the joy of rescuing His rebellious lost, because of a love too marvelous for words, a love so wide and deep and long and high, a love that exceeds our comprehension and any explanation, a love that can only be found in a perfect, holy, righteous, just and good God - only that kind of love could ever decisively and victoriously take on such hellish consequences so we would never have to, so we could indeed be set free once and for all! what is mankind that you are mindful of us? while we were yet sinners You would die for us❤️ My Lord and My God, too wonderful for words, worthy of all honor and praise, that my life would reflect even a tiny speck of your goodness & mercy, grace & love.
i always wonder what would be most helpful. i'll share two things: first is something i found to be a helpful "guide" if you will, and the second is just a way to pray. Thinking a double answer gives me a better chance of answering the kind of "how to" someone may be asking about. ;)
the "guide" or helpful tool i just mentioned is called "The Songs of Jesus" by Timothy Keller. In one year's time you will have prayed through the entire book of Psalms (these are the very songs that Jesus prayed and knew so well and they touch on every aspect in life we seem to find ourselves in)!
T. Keller mentions a few different ways you can do that. I love and highly recommend this approach: read that day's Psalm verses through two times, slowly (he divides the Psalms into "bite size" readings so this is really do-able), then ask yourself 3 questions: 1) ADORE - what did you learn about God for which you could praise or thank him? 2) ADMIT - what did you learn about yourself for which you could repent? ASPIRE - what did you learn about life that you could aspire to, ask for, and act on? Then begin praying (talking with God) about these things!!!! Adore Him, Admit the areas you need His help to change, and talk with Him about those things He wants you to Aspire to (ask for and/or act on).
The second way, is when you simply pray (without this tool). I love beginning the second I open my eyes to a new morning. If you are an alarm setter then set it 5 min earlier than you need to, so that once you shut off the alarm you can lay there and acknowledge - "wow, God! today's a new day from you! you woke me up, you are giving me this breath! i'm in a home and with a family (or surrounded by people) that are gifts from you. You keep this world running and together. Not only that you've created such beauty when I pause and look around at the intricate details (those beautiful flowers, those tiny creatures - like butterflies, the perfect way we were created to function in your image...)." Do you see what I'm doing there, I'm acknowledging and recognizing the Maker of all things. The One who has thought it all up and has a plan in all things. This begins to set the tone for the rest of the day for me. So then maybe I would talk with God saying, "so give me words that honor You and those i speak with," "lead me to the places and people You want to impact with your presence and your love through me today." And I would acknowledge together with Him, "this day seems packed full of things, appts, etc" "God, direct those moments, direct me, be my strength and sustainer. Thank you that you are with me in those appointments. Change those appts and places that I jumped ahead, making on my own (without you). I trust You and therefore I trust your agenda for this day that you've given to me."
So, this second way is an open-ended, conversational, ongoing prayer. That way, I've just reminded myself that He's with me, everywhere I go, everything I do. He's there and i can pick up where I left off, or simply continue my conversation with Him. For instance, I'm driving to work - "God, you're here with me on this drive, yay because without You I'd want to swerve and weave in and out of everyone, seeing them as obstacles in my way instead of your created image bearers. So, God, give me patience as I drive, bless that person in that car. I ask that You become very real in their life, God, that they would know You as their loving Heavenly Father."
Then through my workday, "God I'm really struggling to see eye-to-eye with this person. How do you want me to love them? Will you help me understand their perspective? Will you show me how to treat them with kindness and respect, in a way that brings you glory and shines light in dark places so that they too may see you alive and active in their day."
You're also prepared to walk through the toughest moments with Him. An unexpected tragedy occurs, you turn to Him, "God, THIS? I don't understand, and I'm not sure how I'm gonna get through it. But you do. I can't fix this, but You can. And right now I need you even more - your perspective, your loving arms, your strength, your guidance. God, i need you to help me take the next breath as I learn to trust you even in this, even if it doesn't change, even if it doesn't get fixed."
Talking in conversation all day long is a lot like that "pray without ceasing" we read in Scripture. It changes prayer from a task to a conversation with my best friend, my loving Father, my Creator who delights in me and has a plan for His world that is good. :)
Let me know if I can unpack anything more! Hope that helps!
living loved and passionate about sharing my journey and insights with others...praying you are challenged along the way and always blessed : )