For some of us prayer consists of a few words we say before dinners, before going to bed, before tests. For some of us prayer means long periods of conversation with the Almighty. For some of us prayer is taking small moments of silence during our day.
Prayer can be many things. Our Directory for Worship from our church’s constitution recognizes prayer as speech, song, silence, dance, art, and so much more. There are so many ways in which we may pray; the important thing is that we do pray. Bur that can be more challenging than it sounds. Prayer doesn’t always make it in to our daily schedules and sometimes we don’t even know what to pray for.
I’m going to let you in on a secret, something I didn’t learn until my second year of seminary: prayer is work. Seriously! For some people it comes easier than others but all of us will experience periods when prayer is just not something we take time to do, or know how to do, or have the desire to do. But even when we cannot find the strength or passion to pray, we can pray for that strength, that passion.
During the next few weeks in the life of the church we are focusing on our growth in faith, including inner growth. I encourage each of you to think about your prayer life. Think about how you can deepen, strengthen your relationship with God. Consider setting apart time each day to spend with God. Even if you cannot find words to express yourself, you can listen in the silence for the voice of God.
You may also consider joining a prayer group. Starting in this month, we are forming prayer groups for those interested. If you do have an interest in joining a group that meets regularly, either to pray for specific people and places or to explore different styles of prayer, please let me know.
John Calvin, that illustrious theologian we Presbyterians love so much, called prayer the chief act of faith. It is at the heart of our worship, the heart of who we are as the people of God. I pray that each of us would find our own hearts filled with the love of the one to whom we pray.