Restlessness is exhaustive and depletes the profoundness of the soul when we rely solely on productivity and efficiency to fill the voids in our hearts. We may feel an instant sense of achievement, but a more lasting false sense of security.
Without knowing when to rest, reflect, and celebrate, we will never truly be satisfied.
Overcoming Restlessness in Modern Day Culture
According to Philosopher Blaise Pascal, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
This is prevalent in today’s culture: humans either preoccupy themselves with work or distract themselves with something stimulating in order to gain a sense of accomplishment and external validation. Not doing anything or accomplishing tasks makes us feel guilty, unimportant, and undesirable. This fear or insecurity consumes us and drives us to hustle and bustle.
This chaotic lifestyle leaves our hearts weary. There is yearning in this kind of suffering because we are missing God. It does not take intelligence to know that there is something missing in our lives.
Moreover, being in the present and wrestling with important questions alone can be very intimidating and unappealing to those who are used to speed and fast connection.
In modern day culture, we often approach prayer transactionally as opposed to relationally. Now, that is problematic because we end up using and taking from God whenever we feel like it.
Practice Relationality, Not Transactionality
Today, it is critical that we ask ourselves if we are busy with the right things or clinging on to and distracted by false comforts of the mind.
How do we disengage ourselves from work and aimless distractions?
The only way to find out is to seek truth from Our Creator, God the Father, who knows us best. If we ask, we will receive. So, isn’t it about time we give God a chance to fill our hearts with grace and truth?
The first step is to unplug and call on Him as we contemplate in silence. That means turning off our devices and setting aside quiet time with God, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour of prayer and devotion everyday.
In order to grow closer to God, we must get to know Him. One of the best ways is to study Scripture, and through prayer, share our questions and thoughts with Him. God speaks loudest in the silence of our hearts. Without silence, there would be no room for Him to step in and communicate. And listening is the beginning of prayer, which requires patient silence with the Lord Our God. Surrendering to Him is a gesture of accepting, trusting, and communing.
In Relationship, He Gives Mission
For example, I made a promise to Him and declared that I would devote the rest of my life to sharing my Faith once I graduate by reaching out to and serving Catholic media companies and publications. In this way, I am giving my whole self to the Lord and letting Him make use of my talents and skills to execute His plan of salvation through writing for a community. I am literally a vessel. I put my heart in His Hands each and every day, and this act of love swells my heart with fear and wonder.
Although I know it won’t be an easy life task, as there will be unknown waters to tread and doubts hurled at me for taking on evangelization for a living, I still choose to prioritize and trust God. It is an honor and privilege to be able to partake in and expand His Kingdom. So, despite the risks, I am comforted by truth — that God will gladly take this spiritual walk with me. If we remain vulnerable and docile, God will be able to clear out our murky visions of rest and work.
Admit Weakness, Experience Mercy
Prayer is meant to be an intimate moment with the Lord as we get to know Him. It is an attempt to see ourselves as God sees us: He will help us discover who we are meant to be. He will lovingly present what has been insatiable, irresistible, enduring, and good in the desires of our hearts. So, we must let God act and give Him room.
Letting God have space in our hearts means calling on Him regularly and asking Him to reveal how He sees us, and how He wants us to respond with the gifts that He placed in our hearts. It is making sense of the past and creating that narrative, which leads up to the present in conjunction with God’s Plan.
Ask Him: what are Your hopes and dreams for me? And how can I make the most of my future decisions and actions now that I am where I am?
It is no longer about what we do anymore, but who we are. It is showing up even if there is nothing to say. Conversion is a process, not a single event, after all. It is constantly saying yes to God, allowing Him to stretch and extend us to be more, not do more.
When we admit weakness, we receive mercy. It is a blessing to know what our weaknesses are because that is God calling on us and acknowledging our needs. When we are made aware, God is giving us the chance to be closer to Him, and grow in His Merciful Love, which will redeem and save us. All we have to do is return to Him, be honest about what made us depart from Him, and apologize wholeheartedly. Reveling in His Love, we are softened because of this merciful encounter with Him. From there, mercy will teach us forgiveness and love.
Thus, this shifts the story from ourselves to God and a growing sense of community because love, joy, and hope are infectious. God’s Love will consume us and inevitably spread from person to person in the same way that we can’t help but be drawn to light. That’s what relational prayer does. It is shifting the story from me, myself, and I to God and, in effect, others.
An honest relationship is what He wants from us: to argue with Him but learn to accept and practice His Word. It is living out His Truth and sharing His grace with the world as warriors of God. May we all turn away from our problems and ourselves, and turn to God, rightfully placing Him in the throne of our hearts.
Receive Your Gift, Respond with it, and Commune with the Lord
The moment I surrendered to God after graduation, He awakened the feminine genius and gifts that He placed in my heart, and immediately I was humbled and enlightened. I was pierced by His Fatherly love and was in awe of His spiritual creativity as the Divine Artist. He molded and fashioned my heart to be sensitive, vulnerable, and courageous so that I may share my story with the world, and encourage fellow women to embrace their distinctiveness.
It is liberating the moment we let go and see how unique and relevant we each are in the eyes of God. Through dialoguing and writing, I want to be able to use the gifts God has given me to build up His Kingdom. The extension of myself to God and a larger community is absolutely life-giving and my purpose has never been clearer. Marveling at how good Our Father is, this made me trust Him even more and by the day, I grow in eagerness when it comes to responding with the gift that only I can give, which is my heart.
Littleness Made for Greatness
My prayer life has definitely evolved into complete surrender to God’s divine plan. It is no longer about what I want, but what He wills for me. It is not about saying no to myself, but saying yes to a higher call that’ll allow me to image God and step into the higher world by leading a life of love, which will hopefully bring those around me closer to God.
Knowing how to rest wholeheartedly in God takes humility and littleness. We must remember that Our Lord reveals Himself and His Father to those who are childlike, open, and ready to choose wisdom over cleverness.
Thus, we must tend and nurture our faith; it is a gift we can only pass on if we live it and share it. By pursuing the Lord, you will find your mission and vision to be aligned with His.
Enrich and Increase Your Faith
Ask yourselves: Do you dwell on God’s Word and pray everyday? If wisdom means making the most of one’s life, in what way are you able to do so? How do you reinvigorate your faith with the flame of Christ’s Merciful Heart?
Relational Prayer Challenge
Grab the Bible, open it up, and turn to the Gospel of John. Let’s read up on Christ’s Sonship to God, and reflect on what that means for us as children of God.
How are you a daughter of God in the choices you make each day?
Read a paragraph per day, and reflect on the following questions in your journal:
- Jesus, what does this show me about Your Heart?
- Jesus, what does this show me about my heart?
- Jesus, how are You asking me to respond?
At the end of each week, look back at your responses, and name some of the patterns and trends that arise. What do they reveal about your identity as a beloved son or daughter of God? Enjoy getting to know yourself through the eyes of God and Scripture!
Relational Prayer: Listening to the Silence of Our Hearts #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Kate Cabigao is from the Philippines. She is a graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Education Studies program with a specialization in Global and Urban Education. She loves to write about her thoughts, feelings and experiences ranging from the silliest to the most serious moments. Her life goal is to inspire and empower those around her to make the most of their lives and to play to their strengths. Find out more about her here.