God's Presence in our Prayers
Lately, I've been looking into some of the more ancient practices of the Christian Church. Christianity has been around for about 2000 years, and believe it or not in that time people have come up with all sorts of different ways for connecting with God.
I've found it so fascinating and so helpful to my own faith to learn about some of these different practices over the years... examples: Praying by walking a prayer labyrinth, the process of "holy reading" (called lectio divina), maintaining a daily rhythm of prayer (called the Daily Office). These are just some of the many different practices that I have discovered, practices that were once widely used but have been lost through history.
As I've been able to discover and find value in different types of prayer and conversation with God, I've also learned something about the broader process of prayer.
God not only hears and responds to our prayers but God also works through the actual process of prayer. Our questions and prayers can be answered as we pray them, they can be answered simply by taking part in the act of praying.
I think we lose sight of the importance of the process and will simply pray a prayer to get results.
I really enjoy the spin that Celtic Christian writer John Phillip Newell puts on these ideas:
“Prayer is not about beseeching a distant one to alter the mystery of reality, but rather prayer is about coming into tune with the deepest energies within us—the energies that I believe are of the One. The practice of prayer is bringing us back into relationship with that which is already among us and within us.”
We need to remember that we are holy and important in God’s eyes and that God is present with us right now. This alone can fill us with peace and transform us. Perhaps, in the process, we’ll even we’ll discover the answer to our prayers.
Take some time this week to really pray, to be intentional about the process and to see how God can work through the act of prayer. Perhaps you could try a new way of praying, whether that's by journaling or drawing, sitting in silence, or even going on a walk. Allow God to enter into the process.