Tuesday, August 5, 2014

On Prayer

As a minister,I have prayer as a part of my toolkit, as it is for many who try to live a life anchored in spirituality, and anyone who turns to prayer in the course of their daily activities knows that it is not always seamless and flowing. Sometimes we find ourselves fighting for every step toward the peace prayer can hold.

Prayer is a staff...

People who are not inclined to a prayerful life sometimes scoff at the supposed sentimentality they say it suggests. They see it as a crutch, a means of propping ourselves up when moving through a dark place. They are wrong; prayer is a staff, a strong arm of support when we are making our way through an unknown field to an outcome we may have fear or concern about.  And sometimes it can part the red sea.  It can make a way where before there was no way.  I think of prayer as a conscious reminder that we connected to the all-encompassing Divine. True, the connection may always be present…this is what Oneness means…but sometimes it grows dim without the light of prayer.

Pray without ceasing...

     St. Paul said to pray without ceasing, and that is a lot easier than one might think.  To the person with a prayer habit, it is a comfortable matter to stand in quiet during the day, a moment here, a moment there, letting the mind ease its way Godward for small renewals.  Words aren't necessary.  The heart knows the path.

A waiting calm...

I do not always sit easily in prayer. Sometimes the roil in my mind will not allow it, so I must move my feet as I move my lips, hoping the two will coalesce into one. Sometimes the reach for prayer opens me to a waiting calm; sometimes I wrestle my way through to a resting place at least.

I have burnished the connection...

I would like all my prayer to result in a place of quiet release and trust, and many times it does. But at other times I have to be satisfied that I have dwelt in it and not found the sweet spot, but left my impression nonetheless. It is no matter, for I have burnished the connection. Even without full, inner harmony, I know I can trust enough to make the entry, knowing it will move me at least part way.

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