I began today thanking God. That’s pretty easy to do. But as I become aware of difficulties some people face, sometimes I struggle to know how to pray. It drives me crazy to be in a group where first everyone lists their problems, then we close our eyes and tell God all about those same problems (like he didn’t hear the first time) and we fill in all sorts of details, and then we
tell God when and how he needs to act. I JUST CAN’T! God is God, right? Yet we are told to pray. So … how?
When I hear or see hatred (usually on some sort of media, but often in actual life) I can forget that it is an immediate (urgent) call to prayer! But how? I’ve been trying to remember to pray for both victims and those more easily identified as enemies and it’s hard. Blessing and not cursing takes Divine help. I have trouble with that just driving in traffic, let alone dealing with the horrors of the real world. I guess the question is, how do I pray and yet let God be God when I pray? Know what I mean? Somehow, sometimes I realize anew that prayer is important and perhaps more powerful WITHOUT my suggestions to God about how to deal with people he knows intimately, or difficult situations. Faith, Jan. Trust.
There is a song out now that is making me smile as I write this. Maybe you’ve heard it. Maybe not. The name is “Shut up and dance.” (The story is about a guy who sees a beautiful woman at a dance and begins all kinds of scenarios in his head about meeting her … and finally the woman tells him “Just shut up and dance with me!”) I’m grinning and pondering, would “Shut up and pray” be appropriate? Hmmm. Fewer words. More listening. Actually seek God. BE with him. Find compassion. JUST PRAY. Perhaps more than words, its about straining to hear God’s heart over all other matters. Engage!! How do I pray to the God who made the victim and the assailant and loves them both? As serious followers of Jesus, it’s not all about using our expertise and words. It’s about sitting in the situation with someone and paying attention to God’s heart. Hear the call … pray. St Francis might chime in here. “Pray at all times. If necessary, use words.”
Let me know what you hear as you listen for his heart. If we can get our own words out of the way, we should hear things that shock and humble and direct us. Who knows, we may even start to represent Jesus well in our responses to those who need him most.
Love to mess in your day. :)