God is into freedom, especially where his children are concerned. I have often experienced Him more easily through spontaneous encounters — on a walk, in the shower, musing over my morning cup of sweet black tea — than in times of disciplined prayer. In the beginning, it felt so — illegal. Could I really trust the sense of hearing his voice or feeling his affectionate closeness when I had done nothing special? The idea dawned slowly upon me…how preposterous to think that God never speaks unless spoken to first, or hides himself from his children unless they approach him in a ritual!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free…” as it says in Galatians 5:1. I’ve learned that the Lord particularly enjoys sharing my pleasure in bubble baths, long walks to enjoy his creation, doing creative food things in the kitchen, listening to music that makes my heart joy or my spirit mellow. While not taking away one tittle of how important discipline is in prayer, I rejoice in the freedom of knowing God easily in the mundane moments of life. As one of my beloved teachers has so wisely said, we need to stop making a distinction between the sacred and the secular, because God never does.
Discipline is good, but freedom is better, if that freedom is a celebration of a living relationship between two people who live for one another.