Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Prayer: Make the call

Prayer is a nonlocative, nongeographic space that one enters at one's own peril, for it houses God during those few moments of one's presence there, and what is there will most surely change everything that comes into it. Prayer, its opal walls polished to transparency by the centuries of hands that have touched them, is the Tabernacle realized and the wayside chapel utilized. Ever traveling as we travel, moving as we move, prayer grips like home, until the heart belongs nowhere else and the body can scarcely function apart from them both. Prayer is dangerous and the entrance way to wholeness.
Phillis Tickle

The life of prayer is a land of great adventure and discover, only it's not necessary for you to pack a suitcase or acquire a passport. However, cultivation of a prayerful life is something that many folks find daunting. I have often felt frustrated by the challenge of consistent prayer, for it calls for pause and pausing can be challenging.

In the last few months, I've been experimenting with a few different prayer practices to see what may help me take steps to unfamiliar lands begin with pause and reflection. (Praying the hours, lectio divina (my mainstay for the last 6 years , book of common prayer and praying in color.) While reading Margaret Feinberg's Sacred Echo, I was encouraged to reconsider and be reminded that prayer is a conversation with God. I often teach youth that group prayer is simply like making a phone call. Someone in the group is the dialer, some are he talkers and listeners and another the good-bye and hang up person. If I can transfer the phone call analogy to my solitary prayers, that may be of help as well.

Sometimes I think it's necessary for me to shield even God from the things that are hard and challenging, but in the action of prayer I'm reminded that God can take it. God can handle it. God does not get weary from listening to me. By sharing my life in calling out in prayer, I can come to a place of focus and center that only God can cultivate.

Prayer is a spiritual practice that can travel with you in all spaces, situations and times of life. A while ago I heard the quote, "Pray as you can, not as you can't", and it reminded me that I shouldn't think my prayer life needs to be perfect before I share it with God. That really would be missing the point. Prayer is the act of sharing life with God, and God knows my life isn't perfect. God desires to be in the mix of it with us. God desires to have us call out to him in all circumstances, not just the happy and joyful; but all times of our lives.

So in this adventure of prayer, it's important to find some tools that are helpful, but most important to remember that God really wants to hear from you. It's like making a phone call. There's talking and listening and sharing life - the concerns and the joys. So don't hesitate to dial a prayer, wherever you are, a passport or long-distance plan isn't needed. Just you, and God, where you are. Let's pray.

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me." Psalm 57:2

1 comment:

Mel said...

Wow.....I really like Sacred Space. Thank you for passing that on.