In my sermon two weeks ago I asked you to spend a brief time in prayer each day and then tell me about your experience. As I checked in with people over the next couple of weeks, I discovered that many people already have a practice of setting aside time for silent prayer.
Prayer one of the most fundamental spiritual practices in the Christian life. As I described in my last two sermons, prayers of gratitude and reverence help us to be more aware of the presence of God in our lives. Prayers of gratitude and reverence also turn our focus in life to God and away from the powers, dangers, and temptations that can gain power over our lives. To realize the benefit of prayer we need to make it a regular part of our lives.
“Prayer is not a matter of mood. To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion. To pray only when it suits us is to want God on our terms. To pray only when it feels good is to court total emptiness when we most need to be filled.” — Joan Chittister
I love this quote from Joan Chittister because it lays out the choice so clearly. In choosing whether or not to pray regularly we are choosing between two risky possibilities. To pray regularly, faithfully, is to risk conversion. To pray only when the mood strikes, or not at all, is to risk total emptiness, a lack of access to God, when we most need to be filled. When crisis, grief, or fear strikes, we need God and the comfort of knowing our place and purpose in God’s family. The conversion we risk is actually the gift of knowing God.
Yours in Christ,