Daily Riches: Attending to God (Eugene Peterson)

“Worship is the strategy

by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves
and attend to the presence of God.
[It’s the] time and place
that we assign for deliberate attentiveness to God …
because our self-importance is so insidiously relentless
that if we don’t deliberately interrupt ourselves regularly,
we have no chance of attending to him at all
at other times and in other places.”
Eugene Peterson

“I have set Yahweh continually before me ….
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psalm 16:8a, 11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Even in times of worship, we often focus on ourselves. What are your thoughts during worship? the feelings of your heart? How much do they revolve around you?
  • Our self-absorption can be illustrated even in our prayers. How many of your prayer requests are in some way about you? (your life, your family, your friends, your job, your church, etc.)
  • Most of us can hardly escape this “insidiously relentless” preoccupation with ourselves. On the one hand, it’s only human, it’s typical. On the other, it’s something that needs to be interrupted. Is this a problem for you? If so, what are one or two changes you can make in your worship or prayer time to more effectively “interrupt” your focus on self?

Abba, I’m in danger, even when I’ve come to do so, of not really attending to you. Teach me how to come into your presence and really be with you – waiting, pausing in silence, listening, praising – offering you my love.


For More: The Peterson quote is from Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

2 thoughts on “Daily Riches: Attending to God (Eugene Peterson)

  1. Thank you
    This helped me, when I tried to be alone with God, praying listening. ..but constantly thinking on self and my adult children.
    I so want to think only on Him and listen to Him
    Anyway your post is encouraging. .thanks


    • Thanks Renate. I’m glad that was helpful. Every once in a while Eugene Peterson comes up with the most awesome statement. (If you’re wrestling with distraction when you try to be with God in silence, you should be able to find quite a few posts on the blog that deal with distraction in prayer/contemplation – the “chattering monkey” syndrome! The best advice is just to keep at it.


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