More Thoughts on Prayer

sunrise630x275Elvert Barnes (Creative Commons)

 

Prayer Changes Us

C. S. Lewis is quoted as having said, “I pray because I can’t help myself.  I pray because I’m helpless.  I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping.  It doesn’t change God.  It changes me.”  I love this quote. God bless C. S. Lewis!

Through the years I have found myself praying for those who have hurt me in one way or another. Praying may not change them, but it does indeed change me. Praying gives me hope; helps me forgive those who have hurt me.  Prayer helps me to wish nothing but the best for them; helps me to laugh again. To work it out with God that He twist their ankle or something.  JUST KIDDING!

Through the years I have turned to God when I need to go somewhere with what I have on my mind and in my heart. After someone tells me they are sick or dying or separating from their spouse or getting a divorce. After someone tells me they have been hurt or been afraid or paralyzed over some life situation. Whenever I have felt helpless, I go to God first.  It may not change the situation, but it changes me. Helps me find a way forward through whatever may come next.

 

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Prayer and Darkness

I have often said that I am fortunate beyond words, for I have never experienced what St. John of the Cross called, “the dark night of the soul.”  In the dark night John describes a separation from God, a feeling of distance and silence.  NO THANK YOU!  In a similar way, do you remember reading after Mother Teresa died, that in letters she had written to others she shared she had gone forty years without feeling Christ’s presence in her life?  Don’t you just want to scream, “WHAT, are You kidding me God?!” Mother fricking Teresa?  Are You kidding me?  Honestly, do you feel like I do when you hear or read something like that?  If even Mother Teresa is having doubts then there’s no hope for any of us!  It’s horrifying on the one hand – to think that someone who loved and served so many of the “poorest of the poor” would find herself feeling so abandoned.  But, I have to admit, it is helpful on the other hand for those who have experienced such emptiness – that if Mother Teresa can get through such darkness, then perhaps they can as well. Bless them all.  We pray for those who feel abandoned by God. If we know of someone who is going through such a dark night may we be there for them in prayer and in person as they navigate through this present difficult time in their lives.

 

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Like Blinking or Breathing

Prayer for me is a lot like blinking or breathing. I don’t really think about it. I do it subconsciously and throughout the entire day:

  • when I’m waking,
  • when I’m getting ready for the day,
  • when I am on my way to church or work,
  • when I am preparing for a conversation with another person,
  • when the conversation is over,
  • when I eat my meals,
  • when I visit the sick,
  • when I think of my family and friends,
  • while I walk Brock,
  • when I am emailing or encouraging someone as they are navigating through a situation.
  • I’ve never sat in a dentist chair and not prayed.  (… and I grew up with my dentist!)
  • On my way into heart surgery and coping with the aftershock of having my chest cut open.

Prayer is a lot like blinking or breathing for me. God is there.

God is here as the case may be. In all of it.  With us all the time. Fortunate are we because we do not have to go through life alone.

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