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1 Kings 19:9–13 ‘After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.’ (vv12–13).

Prayer offers us a sacred space in which God can work. Sacred means a place and time we set aside to be alone with God. In other words, it’s a ‘Godspace’ – where we deliberately step aside from the normal distractions of life. Prayer, self-evidently, is continuous when we choose to practise it as Paul encourages (1 Thess. 5:17), but there can be set times of more focused prayer. Here God meets with us, just as we are choosing to meet with Him. It is the space in which God nurtures our life in Him so that we grow towards maturity in Christ,
in both thought and action (Eph. 4:15).

Like Elijah, we will experience the wind of disturbance stirring our life and alerting us to what thwarts God. It can blow dust into our eyes, or disperse the fog that’s grounded us. Then there’s the earthquake threatening destruction to all those we rely on and hold dear. God may send fire to consume everything ungodly in our life. Through prayer we offer our lives up for God’s inspection. It is a place in which God speaks to us, not merely where we talk with God. Finally, we may encounter the gentle whisper, the presence of God with us – with the assurance that God is our fullness of life wherever we find ourselves. Jesus encourages us to find a personal space where He might do business with us. Prayer is the very engine room for spiritual shaping and growth.

Scripture to consider: Exod. 24:9–18; Zech. 4:8–14; Matt. 17:1–13; Heb. 12:18–29.
An action to take: Be sure to open your heart to God in your sacred space and prepare for wind, earthquake and fire, as well as the ‘still small voice’.
A prayer to make: ‘Lord, shape me in my prayer times, in my Godspace. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.