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  • Writer's pictureJill Ball

My soul longs for the living God

Is there more to life? Can we know the living God?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42 v 1-8

Today we are considering prayer. It is the most important part of my life because when I pray, I sense the presence of Almighty God. This is the part of my life which is hidden in Christ and it is my centre, my hub.

I would love it if everything I did flowed from this place, but in truth it doesn’t. Often, it’s just me: making mistakes, saying the wrong thing, misunderstanding. But when the love of God flows out of my heart others can feel it too.

Prayer is so much more than merely asking for stuff. God is so much more than a slot-machine. He is more than a person. It is incredible that we can have any sort of relationship with him, apart from as a subservient creature.

He himself has opened the door and made a way into his very throne room through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He has adopted us as his son, his child, and he loves us more than we can imagine.

Prayer is loving him and knowing him more. It’s about thankfulness, praise and worship. It’s about realising what he has done for us and who he is, so that our hearts overflow with adoration, wonder and awe.

Prayer is listening to the song of love that he sings over us.

Prayer is awareness of His divine presence.

Prayer is being mindful of God as we walk through life.

Prayer is about looking into the face of our beloved father and hearing about the world from his perspective. At first, we think it is about changing God’s mind, but later we realise it is about our father changing our minds, our heart. It is about us becoming more like him.

Prayer is talking with our Heavenly Father and listening.

A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realised that prayer is listening. - Keirkegaard

I love the Anglican liturgy and I value praying in my own words. Both are valid. For some lighting a candle symbolises a prayer. We can pray in church or at home, walking or sitting, kneeling or standing. There are many ways to pray, many ways to worship Almighty God.

Life lived without God is life lived in a dry, parched place.

Once his wave and breakers have swept over us,

once we have heard the deep calling to the deep in his waterfalls,

we know that there is more to life,

we will always long to be in His presence again.

Changing me - Anna Golden

Anna Golden is a young worship leader who writes surprisingly mature choruses. She grew up singing in church and first joined the church choir at aged ten. She is at the start of a promising musical career. Her passion is worship.

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