I have a July birthday, so that pretty much means a 6 month gift drought for me between Christmas and summertime (assuming that being single on Valentine’s Day is, in fact, the rule). Anyway, that’s totally fine because I’m not that into gifts anyway…not my “love language” if you’re into that terminology.
But anyway, I feel like I’ve received two gifts this past week. I’ve been feeling restless in my spirit for several weeks…thirsty for God, wanting to be closer to him, but unsure of how to “do” that (which was my first mistake…his only requirement is thirst). I was kind of over my worship music, my devotionals, my Scripture reading plan–you know, all my prescribed Evangelical spiritual practices.
Then last week, I found out that I can get a live feed from the prayer room at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City for free. Bonus! If you don’t already know, IHOP does 24/7 prayer and worship…so now I can just click a button and have seriously amazing, prophetic worship any time of the day or night. It’s been so wonderful to have it on in the background while I’m having time with God or doing dishes or whatever.
The second gift is Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours. For my Spiritual Traditions and Practices class this week, we were assigned the spiritual practice of “fixed hour prayer.” Christians all over the world stop throughout the day to pray the daily offices, and I had never even heard of it until last year when the base in Norway started doing them together in the morning. At first it was weird, to read these Scriptures and say these hymns and prayers that are written out for me. Coming from a charismatic/evangelical background makes me a foreigner in the world of fixed hour prayer. But I’m seriously loving it! I feel like the offices center me throughout the day. Before, when I was only having time with God in the morning, I would often feel like I had “lost” him by the time I went to bed. Praying the offices hasn’t been a miracle pill, but it’s definitely helped.
Jesus said that those who seek, find; those who knock find themselves standing in front of an open door; those who ask, receive…even if it’s not their birthday.