“Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer has become impossible and your heart has turned to stone.” Thomas Merton
“It is not a perfect prayer if one is conscious of oneself or understands one’s prayer.” St. Anthony of the Desert
When we enter into prayer for ourselves and/or another, we may often know not how to pray, but as we give of ourselves to the Spirit, we will be led in praying and we will become less conscious of ourselves and more aware of the Spirit.
Prayer changes who we are and it is a power beyond ourselves that does this radical transformation in us. When we enter into this relational being with our Father God in the union discovered in prayer, we become holy instruments of His hand.
Prayer removes us from our own self-reliance as we enter into our need in placing total dependence in God’s ability to move mountains or grant strength, in loosing His Spirit to do the necessary work in the lives of ourselves and those we intercede on behalf of.
We become less self-conscious as our thoughts, minds and hearts are infused in God-consciousness and our awareness is heightened as His Spirit places the balm of healing in releasing us from own flesh tendencies in our prayer life.
I am laid bare, stripped of my wanting, as His Holiness becomes the sacred place of being during those times in prayer where the need is great and I lay it all before Him, in a dependent surrendering of myself to my Father’s will.
I am embraced in the fullness of His love, discovering this place in His unity whose form I become in ever-increasing measures of the Father’s Spirit life residing in mine, yearning for His ways above all else in the consecration discovered in this place of solitude in prayer.
Prayer involves both our personal and our communal response to others in our faith circles. The sixth-century monk Dorotheus of Gaza expressed this inward/outward dynamic of prayer in imagining our world as a circle.
He saw it as a circle, with God at the center and our lives as lines drawn from the circumference toward the center. As Dorotheus relates this, the closer the lines crowd in toward God, “the closer they are to one another; and the closer they are to one another, the closer they become to God.”
When we begin in having developed a serious and habitual pattern in our own prayer life we will move beyond the simplistic “gimme, gimme,” of privatized prayer, which functions as an agenda driven way to pray ,and we will move into a Spiritual unity where we are led into a deeper prayer life that often brings us to the end of self in realizing the depth of Psalm 46; “Be Still and Know that I am God.”
When I am not, and the Spirit is allowed, my prayer life is released from the ‘how to pray’ into the being a prayer and it is not in the form, but in the simplistic offering up of my ways to the Christ Spirit ways, where my prayer life becomes one of His life moving in mine where the Holy is touched upon as my desires become His desires.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister