“When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:12
- You may wonder, how?
- You might think, I don’t believe in God.
- Or, uggg, what was once life giving in prayer, no longer is. God is absent. [This experience is normal, by the way.]
- Maybe, how the heck am I supposed to find time?
- Perhaps, prayer restores, invigorates…
You see, the truth is, prayer happens. It is a cry of the heart. Prayer is any time, any place. To pray is to be joyful, shriek with angst, asking and beseeching a miracle, centering and breathing into the present moment, full of wonder and awe, giving thanks. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.” Praying can be as natural as breathing.
Everyone can pray. I Googled pray, and am a wee bit irritated now. The leading yahoo response is something about how to “pray effectively.” Wow. According to yahoo, productivity and technique, analyzing results is of primary importance. I disagree.
However you pray … whatever words and emotions that rise in you are wholly acceptable. Indeed there are many tips and techniques, classical prayers, and forms, types, methods, and practices of prayer. For today, please set all that aside. You can learn these things and receive tips, later. Thousands of excellent prayer books have been written, unique to your spiritual or faith orientation, personality or cultural preference. For now, to pray is as simple as this:
Pause, listen, breathe. What cares, concerns, joys are you experiencing, here and now?
Breathe deeply. In your breathing, give God permission to come alive in your own personal here and now. And, if “God” isn’t or hasn’t been a life-giving word or concept in your vocabulary, imagine the creative force in the universe, caring about your cares, perhaps giving rise to your cares and gratitude.
Today I will savor in my heart … my cares, concerns, joy, and thanksgiving. Matter matters. Prayer is a cry of the heart.
I’ll write more about prayer in coming weeks. Please post your questions here.