Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ever Changing

Our understanding of prayer is one of those things that changes as we move through the decades of our life.  While it is true that our adult prayers are nothing like our childhood prayers, it may also be true that we pray now with a lost faith in prayer itself.  It is easy to get discouraged with prayers that seem to be making no difference on earth or in heaven.  There are those moments we wonder if God is listening.  Our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.  As we struggle through some of these rough and difficult seasons of prayer, we lose some of the childlike wonder and expectations which filled our prayers as children.
It may be that part of the problem has to do with the way we are changing.  As we move away from the prayers our parents taught us at our bedside, we want a prayer experience that matches the maturity of our adulthood.  We do not need to look back at any pattern of prayer with the idea that it is a "one size fits all" kind of prayer.  As we grow and change, so will the pattern of our praying.  The praying we do is always driven by a different person because we change from one time in our life to another.  Everything around us changes.  We should expect the same to happen with the way we pray.  Actually, there might be a reason for concern if there has been no change at all since those beginning days with Jesus.

No particular model of prayer points us toward a prayer life of such maturity that change is no longer possible or necessary.  Arriving at some point of perfection in prayer is not something we will ever do.  People pray in all sorts of ways.  All we have to do is listen to realize this basic truth about prayer.  The child's prayer will evolve into something totally different.  The same is true of the prayer life that is married to a list of prayer concerns.  Not even the prayers of the contemplative are beyond the need for a freshness that speaks of the ever changing relationship we experience with God. 

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