OCTOBER 7, 2020 WEDNESDAY
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. — 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-22.
Dear Friends in Christ,
Some people find it difficult to make time to pray. They may say every moment holds a possibility for prayer. And that is true. God is present in every moment – awake or asleep. So, will creating specific space and time to be with God each day. It’s a discipline and practice that helps you be able to see God in every moment. Both are important – a prayerful life, and a life of prayer.
All Christians are called to pray. You have to figure what’s best for you. You won’t decide this alone. And it can change over time. Your relationship with God is growing. God calls us into new ways of being in relationship together, especially if a way you pray feels stale and obligatory. To me, that’s God pulling me forward. To realize this may be, pray as young Samuel did – “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
I have embraced a prayer form. After a time, I notice it has become stale. The honest thing is for me to admit it. I can try and keep at it for awhile. But when I feel a consistent weight of obligation to keep trying, that may be God calling me to be in relationship with him in a different way. God is looking for us to deepen our relationship, however that best happens. God waits for your desire to draw you. And many paths can take you to the same place. If you decide to pray daily and often as a spiritual practice, commit a time and place for prayer.
Don’t worry if at first it seems hard, even impossible. Don’t expect “instant” results. You must commit yourself and keep your commitment. It takes time for prayer to move from obligation to a holy conversation that feels natural. If you need some help, read some of the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer — in the Morning and Evening Offices. Pray the Collects you receive each week with the readings. Think about the words, and what they mean for you. Let that form an inner conversation with God. Secondly, think about keeping a prayer journal to record your daily experience. Periodically, look back and see what’s been important at a particular moment in your life, and the adjustments you sense God calling you to make. The only wrong way — is not to pray. Even then, God won’t ever turn away or stop loving you just as much as God does when you do pray, whatever that is. “God help me,” is a good prayer. If you mean it, God will. It’s you and I who need not wait.God’s grace and love, Fr. Steve