prayer

I think it is important to pay attention to how we pray.  Often when we pray we are merely chattering, tossing words around, praying to some kindly old gentleman “up there”, possibly one who sits on a golden throne with a baby sheep under one arm and a thunderbolt under the other.  Our prayer is often of the “gimme, gimme, gimme” genre, reflecting a vision of God as sitting “up there” with a huge duffel bag full of goodies to toss our way.  But an essential dimension of prayer is to clear our minds, to rein them in, to focus—that is, to meditate.  Meditative prayer can help us find our center and from that center we can make better decisions about our day to day life.   We could even, then, say “The Spirit of God leads us in making better decisions.”

Our words speak volumes about us, including the words we use in prayer.   Our word selection and the nuances of our speech reveals where we are existentially and spiritually.   For example, our word selection in prayer can reveal the perception that He is “afar off”, that He is “out there” and that we are fundamentally estranged from Him.  It is this perception of estrangement that leads to the belief that our tone of voice, our volume, and our ardor will help influence Him in his responses.  We forget that though God is transcendent he is also immanent.  In the words of Jesus, “The kingdom is within.”

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