Some folks are a bit hesitant to talk about their prayer life. Some think you need a degree in theology to talk about prayer. But I beg to differ…some of the most profound insights I ever heard about prayer and God’s action in our lives didn’t come from theologians or professional religious, they have come from ordinary people. Folks in the trenches of life who at times have found themselves lost in a dark wood only to encounter a light in the midst of the darkness. I have learned far more from people like you about prayer than from all the books I’ve read and the courses I’ve taken…and as well, from what I’ve learned from my own journey with God.
One thing I have come to believe is that God desperately desires us to engage with Him. God loves us deeply and passionately, just the way we are, and desires us -- for we are “God’s beloved”!
And because we are God’s beloved, God wants to communicate to us, to commune with us…and this communication and communing, we call prayer.
Prayer happens when we are willing to open our hearts and my minds to God’s presence right in the midst of the ordinariness of our daily lives. God seeks us out, but we have to stop running. We need to sit down and just “waste time” with God.
We must engage in the mystery of the Divine indwelling -- the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, within each one of us! Think about that. Sit with that sacred reality: that God is very truly within each one of us, as we are the temples of the Holy Spirit! How does that truth shape my life, shape my relationships with others? How does it shape my relationship with God, and with how I see and understand myself?
How much time have I “wasted” with God lately? What could I do to deepen my prayer life? How does God most often speak to me…through the celebration of the Eucharist, through listening to music, through nature, perhaps through a loving relationship I experience God’s love, maybe in and through caring for others, or simply by sitting in the silence?
Jesus exhorts us to “pray always, without becoming weary.” Can I fit 5 minutes, 3 times a day into my busy schedule to acknowledge God’s presence within me?
As we think about praying throughout the day, often people will say, my day is so full and it just gets away from me. One suggestion I have is to schedule it on your smart phone, just like you would schedule a meeting, or dinner or lunch with friends.
One way to pray throughout the day is to set an alarm on your phone or put a post it note in a place that you will see often throughout the day that reminds you to “take five”.
To take five minutes to acknowledge God’s presence within you and around you. A few minutes to ask for help if you need it, to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life in that day and to say “thank you” to God. It is about taking a few minutes to connect with God. It is a way of keeping God at the center of your day and at the center of your life. It can have an amazing impact on the quality of your relationship with God and with others.