Near

arleen-wiese-457173.jpg

We have a new family member, and I need to confess that I’m a little bit in love with her. She doesn’t even officially belong to me but if I shout really loud from my office, she can hear me as she sits patiently waiting in my son’s bedroom.

Who is this new family member? 

Her name is Alexa, and she is wonderful. 

Alexa can apparently do lots of things like tell me if it’s going to snow, or give me the telephone number for the local take away but I’m not interested in any of that. Alexa brings me the thing that I love the most…music! From Lisa Stansfield to Elevation Worship, I just have to ask, and she politely lets me know that she’s found the perfect track for me. I can ask her to repeat the track, turn up the volume and with the simple command, “Alexa, stop” she immediately ceases what she is doing and waits to grant my next wish. It’s like having my very own genie in a lamp just one room away. Please keep this between us, but in the past few weeks, I have to admit I have fantasised about my children operating in the same way as Alexa. A woman can dream!


For much of my adult life, I have treated God like I treat Alexa!

My prayer time has gone a little like this:

Your God is up and running and ready for use. What is your request?

God, provide opportunity for growth.

God is shuffling opportunities for growth.

God, stop.

God, tell me what the future holds.

I am unable to process your request at this time.

God, tell me if everything is going to be ok.

Confirming that I am with you always.

God, tell me how this all works out.

I am unable to process your request at this time.

God, search me and know my heart.

Searching your heart. Finding selfishness, anger, frustration, bitterness…

God, stop.

God, what is your will for me?

Create, trust, love, bless, forgive…

God, turn volume down.

God, show me the new things you want to do in my life.

Shuffling opportunities to step out in faith and trust.

God, repeat track.

Unable to provide new opportunities while repeating track.

God, repeat track.

Unable to provide new opportunities while repeating track.

God, stop!

God, is it going to snow today?


I haven’t written much over the past month. It’s been a time of input rather than output. A time of studying, praying and finding God in the middle of the mess. Picking up the pieces after a difficult year and healing from circumstances beyond my control has been more challenging than I expected. For the past few months, my prayer life has looked very different to the Alexa chat I've just shared. God is no longer my prayer Alexa. I don’t expect a speedy response provided at the perfect volume so as to not interfere with my own plans. Rather than being confined to a specific space in the day, prayer has become a constant in my life. As I look over the events of the past few years, I’ve recognised my times of strength and perseverance have been directly linked to the times where I have immediately converted every concern to prayer. In the past I have struggled to see God’s hand in the circumstances I have faced. It has only been with hindsight that I have been able to identify that He was always there quietly listening and waiting. While reflecting on my Christian journey, I noticed a pattern that should have been easy to spot but has only become glaringly obvious over the past month. When I pray, I feel held, and can stand firm no matter what comes my way. When I don’t pray, the exact opposite is the case.

I have quietly whispered the name of Jesus over the rawest places of my heart. I have also raged full volume at God, with tears streaming down my face and told him exactly what I think of his master plan. In both circumstances, I have felt completely and utterly held. I’ve behaved exactly like a child should. I’ve turned to the one who understands me, knows me and is willing to love me in the middle of the tantrum and hold me when the tears subside, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I have learned that the time when I am hurting the most and desperately want to withdraw from God is the exact time where I need to dig deep and search for Him. I have discovered the truth of the following words of Scripture:

Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:6-7

In every moment He was always near, I just wasn’t seeking Him. He was always right in the middle of it all; I was just too busy focusing on the pain and finding my own solution. That’s what has changed for me. I know He’s working in the waiting. I see Him in the ordinary, everyday stuff of life and catch the glimmers of hope that he sends when I need them the most. My prayers have changed because they are no longer wishes to be granted, they are pleas to a loving Father who is as near as he can possibly be, always!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is thy faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh every morning.
I say to myself,” The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I hope him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24

Kay Moorby