Eye contact used to be hard for me. I remember in college having a horrible time even looking the cafeteria server in the eye when he dished up a tray of crunchy chicken nuggets and a couple Otis Spunkmeyer cookies (basic diet my freshman year). I had to force my eyeballs to look in his eyeballs and hold there for 5 seconds. It really was an effort. It was awkward. I was so insecure that I didn’t even want to connect or begin a conversation with anyone.
Eye contact is much easier for me now. I am able to hold an eyeball connection, before it seems stalker-y or invasively weird (I hope). Praying to see through into the authentic soul of that person. Reaching to understand what they are trying to say beyond mere words. It’s about making a connection.
I long to connect with God like that. I want to make a deep connection with Him on a daily basis. I want to remember to remember all of who He is thus cultivating a lifestyle of prayer.
But, how do we do that? Instead of praying blankly and offering an awkward shrug of ignorance, how do we remember to remember connecting daily with Him?
Physical eye contact with the God in heaven is impossible, right? Physically, yes- probably short of a miracle. But in our hearts and spirits, it is possible.
We connect with God when we fix our eyes on Him in PRAISE.
Praise situates my spirit into remembering who He is. I get in the zone of appropriate estimation. My eyes make connection with Him.
Praise changes me and my conversation with God.
Praise changes what I ask for. Praise opens me up to be vulnerable. Praise mutes my untruth-filled emotional responses. Praise puts me in a place of trust with Him. Praise helps me to remember. Praise keeps me fueled and centered onto the true motivation of prayer in the first place. Praise keeps me going when I’m tired and don’t want to. Praise helps my heart run strong. Praise fixes my eyes on Jesus.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
Right now, let’s lift up praises to God.
God, You are strong. God, You are good. God, You are faithful to all you have promised. God, You are love. God, You are…
When we don’t know how to connect with God, when we awkwardly shrug in ignorance, let’s fix our eyes on the truth of who He is through praise. And, I believe you will find your little heart being drawn into the magnanimity of His love.
Let’s keep the conversation on prayer going next week. Yay!