Developing a Soul at Rest

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I cannot think of a greater need in this day when we seem to live on the edge of chronic anxiety, overwhelmed by the magnitude of our busyness. We never stop—running, working, doing, learning, achieving, moving, climbing, pushing, thinking, planning—and yet the unprecedented rate of change that assaults us daily demands that we keep up or risk becoming irrelevant, relegated to the dusty dreams of simpler times.
Into all this commotion, God beckons: Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). But can we hear him? Or, when we do try to carve out a few quiet moments, can we slow the pace of our minds enough to enjoy his gentle presence? What will become of our souls, competing as they must, with the cacophony that is our new normal?

There is a hidden beauty in all our busyness: God created us for work, for the pleasure of productivity. Yet our heavenly Father has always intended for our doing to flow from our being, for our active lives to be energized by souls that have learned to rest in relationship with him.
Can you relate to this struggle for balance? Do you find yourself:

  • Hungry to connect more consistently with the stabilizing presence of God?
  • Weary of always running but never feeling caught up?
  • Longing for a deeper engagement with Jesus’ heart?
  • Tired of relying on spiritual sound bites to feed your soul?
  • Wishing for a calm to saturate the chaos of your day?

Throughout history, people of faith have tried to satisfy these kinds of yearnings by going on pilgrimage, traveling to sacred sites to encounter the divine. In truth, what they were looking for may have been as close as their own heartbeat. We are invited to go on a pilgrimage, but rather than to some far-away land, this journey takes you to your inner being, where the Spirit of God awaits. It is a pilgrimage of the soul.

The Inner Prayer Journey

The inner prayer journey relies on an ancient form of spiritual communion, albeit unusual in today’s world. It thrives amid the uncommon grace of stillness, in the presence of God. We wait, and he attends to our needy souls. We listen, and his voice comforts us, his words breathe new life into our spirits. We discover little by little who he is, and who we are as his beloved children.

Today and every day Jesus stands with arms out, eager to accompany us on this journey. He longs to give us reflection in place of restlessness, meditation in place of mindless activity, and waiting on him to balance our running about. All this and so much more awaits—we need only a willing heart. I hope you will join me and the saints of a thousand generations on this pilgrimage of prayer, as we discover together what it means to be souls at rest.

You’ve been reading from Tricia McCary Rhodes’ book The Soul at Rest: A 40 Day Journey into a Life of Prayer. Learn to hear God speak and grow a deeper and more intimate relationship with him. Get the book or read chapter one here for free.

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