|I have always been a big believer in prayer. But over the years, my notion of what prayer is or can be, has changed greatly. I used to think of prayer as just talking to God, and probably too much of that talking was asking for things to work out the way I wanted. Eventually, I did come to realize I should be asking for the wisdom and courage I needed to conquer challenges myself, or for the strength to endure them when I failed. But more recently I began to see that prayer can be so much more than just talking to God about what I want or need. I realized that one can be in prayer without any words at all. After all, God already knows what we need well before we begin to utter our thoughts to Him. He knows if we need strength, hope, endurance, forgiveness, and so forth.
I know now that prayer can also just be a quiet moment in which I open myself up and let God in. Because my days get so hectic and full, it is easy for me to forget Him for much of the day. Like most of us, I find a way to make time in my day for so many insignificant and useless activities and thoughts; so surely I can make room for the Lord! I think we unintentionally keep Him at a distance through our endless chores and preoccupations. I donít want that. Iíve learned that I need to stop periodically during the day and make time for God -- a time of devotion and reflection that brings Him closer. It is a surrendering of my ego clutter, a respite from daily stress, a momentary letting go of my problems (not a retelling of them). It takes me to a place of refuge -- a calm place in the middle of the chaos in which I live. I am mindful that Iím never alone for He is always there for me if only I seek Him -- anywhere, anytime. So sitting quietly in prayer, letting Him touch my heart, embracing that spiritual connection, and making God an important part of my daily experience, is a wonderful way for me to pray.
When praying, it is not our whispered words that are important. Rather, it is our way of being -- still, open, receptive -- that enables us to feel the power and warmth of His presence. This allows me, at least briefly, to experience a quiet mind, a full heart, a calm soul -- something I desperately need each day. For just a few minutes of a long day filled with doing, rushing, and working, I am reminded of who I really am, my true purpose, and what matters in life. Iím restored in my awareness that God loves me, and thanks to that, I can endure all things. How sweetly these prayers leave me filled with gratitude, trust, and love --and ready to enjoy the remainder of my day.
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|David L. Weatherford|