“Lay before God what is in us, not what ought to be in us.”
– C.S. Lewis
Prayer can be intimidating to those who believe that you must say the right words or be in the right mood in order to pray. This is not true. Prayer is simply the practice of communicating with God. God wants to know you; the real you. Not the person you wish you were or even the person you are trying to become.
In prayer, we are able to lay aside all the masks we wear and all impulses to be the right kind of person, and simply be.
My prayer life has grown immensely over the years. When I was a kid, I would pray the same prayer before bed every single night. I wonder now whether God grew bored with my repetition! Yet when I look back on that time I recognize that I was learning how to talk to God. Over time I began to form my prayers in my own words. I would talk with God throughout the day and share with God my joys and my fears.
In adulthood, I have realized that prayer is even more than a conversation with God. Prayer is a way of life.
“Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence, living in awareness of the Presence, and even of enjoying the Presence.”
– Richard Rohr
Learning to live within the presence of God in each moment of life. This is what Richard means when he says that prayer is a stance toward God. Through prayer, we learn to focus the majority of our thoughts and attention toward God. Eventually, our thoughts become our actions, and our actions become our way of life; all positioned toward God. This is the life of prayer.
As we journey through this season of Lent, I encourage you to explore more deeply the practice of prayer.
I’ll leave you with a quote that comes from the 5th century. It was said by a monk who lived by himself in the desert. This monk speaks of prayer as a way to increase our love for God:
“But above all in prayer you will go on increasing your love for God, until the day when, in eternity, vision obtains what you once sought in prayer.”
– Evagrius Ponticus
See you on Sunday!
P.S. Don’t forget our Bible verse for this week- write it on your heart!
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
-1 John 5:15