Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lent XXI

When we first started praying, it was all about us.  After getting God's attention with something like, "Dear Lord," we commenced with our list of things we thought He needed to do and people we wanted Him to help.  Perhaps, we threw in a few words of thanks and a quick request that He forgive us for whatever sins we might have committed.  And with nothing more for which to pray, we raced on to the ending, "Amen."  But, that was then and now we have come to understand that prayer is not so much about our getting what we want as it is in being in His presence.
At its core, prayer is about sitting at His feet as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus when He came to her home for dinner.   The story is easy to remember.  Martha, her sister, was busy with the doing while Mary only wanted to sit and soak up every word Jesus spoke.  For her nothing was more important than being in the presence of Jesus and hearing His every word.  She provides for us a wonderful model of prayer.  We do the talking part well enough.  More time needs to be spent on learning to be in His presence with all our senses primed to listen. 

This "being" and listening does not come easy for most of us.  Everything about who we are takes us in a different direction.  So, if we are going to get from where we started to the place Mary models for us, we will have to do at least two things.  First, we will have to ask God to help us as we move from "mind prayers" to "heart prayers."  And secondly, we will have to practice without a fear of not getting it right the first time.  Yes, practice.  We will have to work at learning how to listen for the voice of God.  Listening for His voice is different, but it is better to hear one Word from God than to speak a thousand words to Him.

No comments: