Spiritual Practice

Making Time for God

Daniel Wolpert

devozine Pray on Mountain TS 106385816At one point in my prayer journey, I decided that I was going to sit on top of a hill for three days. I wasn’t going to bring any food, just some water and a sleeping bag. No tent, no books, nothing to write with. I was going to spend time in solitude and silence; of course, God was going to show up immediately and talk to me. . . .

Nothing happened. Soon my legs began to fall asleep, and my back got stiff. I was thinking about all sorts of things other than God, especially about how much time had passed. After I couldn’t take it anymore, I allowed myself to look at the little clock I had brought with me—twenty minutes had gone by. . . .

In that moment, many of my ideas about prayer and who I was as a pray-er crumbled to the ground. Prayer was obviously not something I could “do”; it wasn’t something I could make happen or force or cause to come into existence. . . .

I did stay on the hill for those three days. No voices, no great theophanies (actually seeing or hearing God directly). But I did learn something about listening and about how to listen: listening through all the distractions and habits of my own mind; listening even when I didn’t want to listen—when my body ached, when it wasn’t a good time, when no one would talk to me.

One of the things I learned was that if I was faithful in my prayer, if I prayed even when it seemed futile, then eventually I would begin to notice that God is present.


—From pages 30-32 of Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2003 by Daniel Wolpert. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.

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