Web Meditation 6 March 2009
We are moving now to loving God with all our soul. Loving God with our souls has an inward and outward expression. Today's topic of prayer is mainly thought to be an inward action. Indeed mostly it is. The catechism of the Episcopal Church describes prayer as responding to God. Now that is a little different then what we commonly think of as prayer. The most common understanding of prayer is asking God to do something. But prayer is more than that. It is a two way communication. When we sit with God in prayer we open ourselves to God communicating with us as much as we are communicating with God. This is why silence has always been a part of Christian prayer practice.
Therefore if prayer is responding to God, one of the first actions of prayer is to acknowledge God's presence. One of my ministry gurus, a man who has taught me a whole lot named Lyle Griner, often tells the story of sitting down to eat lunch with a wizened old-time Christian. The old-timer looked at Lyle and said, "Are you ready to pray?" Lyle said yes. The old timer immediately ripped off his glasses, looked up, and gave a wink in the general direction of the heavens. Lyle describes this as the best prayer he has ever experienced. The man in his simple gesture acknowledged that God was present and part of their lunch. There is much to gained, I believe, to simply acknowledging God's presence in our everyday lives. Our work, our play, our rest, and our labor; they are all done in the presence of God. The more aware we are of God the better we are positioned to respond to God, to be prayerful all the time.
There is much more to say about prayer, but that's enough for right now. I hope you have a wonderful day where God's presence is obvious and we are humble enough to acknowledge it.
This meditation is also posted on the web page of the Church of the Resurrection.