final meditation, Delia Smith finds inspiration in God's relentless love for man
there, God would have to cans her there Himself!
To summarise the most significant landmarks on the journey of prayer. First, do we warn God? If we do then we will be prepared to seek to know him by providing time and space in our lives to listen to his word in scripture (and in particular the gospels).
As we seek Him, so we shall find Him (Luke 11), and as we find so will our faith increase. The work involved in creating this time and space for listening and reflection will be like building a house on a solid rocklike foundation: if we succeed our growth in faith will be able to withstand the traumas of everyday life (the psalmist's 'storms of destruction'), and we will retain a deep peace and serenity whatever the disturbances on the surface.
Finally, as we grow in this intimate relationship with God which we call prayer, and gradually learn to respond to the spirit dwelling within us, so we shall receive the promise of the scriptures with which I started this article. Jesus himself reiterated it in his own words. "If a man is thirsty (wanting God), let him come to me (relationship through prayer). Let the man come and drink who believes in me (faith). From his breast shall flow fountains of living water" (John 7).
In short, whoever makes the commitment to seek God in prayer will receive life, God's life that manifests itself in love. Prayer is ultimately a journey into loving, where first of all we learn to love God (by commitment not by feelings), and as we learn to love Him so in turn we learn to receive his love, and to love ourselves. Then we are truly free to love others, not in a forced "striving" way but with an instinctive, love that is inspired by God's own relentless love for us.
Let's end with one of the most beautiful prayers in scripture, Paul's prayer for the Ephesians which in its simplicity encapsulates all I have tried to say in these meditations.
May he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and length, the height and depth, until knowing the love of Christ. which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God. (Ephenians 3, 16-19).