Christianity is not so much a series of belief statements about God as it is growing in intimacy with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. The Christian faith is about participating in Jesus’ mysterious experience of Transcendent Reality as Abba – the God of infinite goodness and gentle mercy who lives within us. This incorporation into Jesus’ relationship with Abba begins by waking up to God’s presence in our lives through deep prayer. For, nothing in our lives is separate from God. Let me say that again! There is nothing separating us from God. The new life the Risen Jesus brings us, the life of the resurrection, is a life of no separation from God. it is living in, with, and as God here and now. To do so is to practice deep prayer. In truth, there are no obstacles to enjoying divine oneness, but the hard reality is we let things become obstacles to God.
According to Thomas Keating, the greatest hindrance to realizing your union with God is the thought that you are separate from God. When you see God as some thing or object outside of you, then you always try to get closer to that something. For it is inherently separate from and not a part of you. When you treat God as an object, the sense of separation fills your spiritual life. It means, practically, that you will continue to think that prayer, living the Gospel, and love are all things YOU do to GET God. It keeps us focused on self as the center.
Real prayer is not about relating to a thing, but about realizing that you are always in God’s dynamic, encompassing life— a life that is emerging all around you. God is more like water than merely like rain. God is beyond you, within you, and you are in God. There is ultimately no obstacle to being in God, except the ones that are self-made. Whatever you think is an obstacle is not. In fact, thinking it is an obstacle is the problem! All things are embraced by God. The divine presence is present in all, and all is in God. So the best disposition for pure prayer is to let everything be—all thoughts , effort, lack of effort, suffering, bliss, relationships, experiences, everything. Let everything be, just as it is, in God.
Meister Eckhart says, “between God and you there is no between.” Prayer teaches us how to embrace the presence and action of God amid the regrets, worries, chaos, and messiness— and equally with the joys, achievements, and triumph. In the contemplative silence of pure prayer, one discovers that there is nothing between God and oneself, and that to embrace this nothingness is everything.