Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Why do we pray? Some Thoughts...

Why do we pray? A better question is, why do you pray? Maybe you never thought about it. Maybe you don't because it does not "work" for you. Maybe you do all the time, an ongoing monologue connecting you with God.
Prayer is an act of faith in two ways. It is an act of faith that you are being heard. It is also an act of faith that it matters at all. I cannot tell you how many times I have had people come and ask me about how or why it works, not recently admittedly, but over the years. It depends on the person and what brought them in as to how I answer.
I still pray because I need to do so. I need God to hear my heart. God wants to hear my heart. My heart cannot change if it is not open. (Remember when Moses took on Pharaoh who had hardened his heart?) Sometimes when I pray, it is for a shiny red bike (metaphor there), and by praying I am able to see with God's help that my blue one is just fine. Sometimes when I pray, it is because I or someone I love needs healing. And here is where the crisis of faith usually comes in. Is my prayer working, or not? And why do miracles sometime happen, or not? 
Great questions. If I had an easy answer to tell you, they would be wrong. But these are things I do know/believe/understand. 
  • Prayer is not a vending machine. We do not get to insert our prayer coin in and select whatever we want. God is not Santa Claus.
  • Prayer is not a waste of time. People far wiser than I have said, the busier they are the more they need to pray. Is it a way to reconnect to a solid center, or is it a way to focus on what I value most? I think the answer to that either/or is Yes. 
  • Prayer is not something I can put words to. It is a habit that has grown in me as the years have gone by. 
Okay, that is a lot of Nots. What is prayer? I can only answer that for me.
  • Prayer is the uncovering of my hurts, my shame, my sins, my most tender spots to someone I can trust beyond measure. And if anything can be done about them, only God can.
  • Prayer changes me for things much more than it changes things for me. Read that again.
  • Prayer, I have found, works like the ratio of my ears to my mouth, 2:1. (Tip of the hat to Dale Carnegie.) I need to make sure I spend as much if not more time to being still and listening than I do running off at the spiritual-mouth. God cannot get a word in edge wise if I do all the talking. 
  • Prayer is more and more who I am rather than something I do. I am a human being, not a human doing. I pray to "be" with God. 
We don't need to hold hands to feel close to someone, but we hold hands to feel close to someone. Does holding hands "mean" or "do" anything? Like most of life, it is all in how I choose to see it. It means nothing, or everything. And that is prayer to me, all or nothing.
Let us pray.

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Blessings, Rock