You want to know how to handle your thoughts. The other day, you carved out a little space away from the busyness of your day, and sat down to pray. You got still before God and before a minute was up your mind was racing in forty different directions at once. I don’t know what you expected—some radiant, holy light probably—but your mind did just what I figured it would do. Totally predictable. You can make your body quiet on the outside, but inside there’s a riot going on in your head. Honestly, sometimes my brain feels like its a cage full of monkey’s on crack; my thoughts screech and chatter and swing to and fro and aren’t about to stop just because I want them to.
Very few people can be thought-free even for a few moments. And thought-free isn’t your goal. You’re not to be thought-free, but free from their tyranny. Your aim is to transform the way you relate to your thoughts (Romans 12.2).
You’ve probably never really stopped to think about your thoughts, and because you haven’t, you’re more slave to them than owner. If you’re like most of us, your thoughts rule the roost and you’ve never given them another thought despite the fact that you’ve probably read St. Paul words, “we take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10.5). Who is this “we” who can “take every thought captive”? Answer that and you’re on your way to real freedom in life and a life of true prayer.
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