For the last few weeks in worship, we have been asked to pray about our income and how much God is asking us to give as an offering. As the leadership of Faith UMC has prayed and discussed this period of time in our church life, we have held our focus on the importance of prayer. Prayer in planning, prayer before and after meetings, prayers individually – but more importantly than the prayers of the leadership, was the request that every member of Faith UMC pray themselves. Not just in worship but all throughout the week, praying about our relationship with God, with the resources we have been given, and our response to God’s work in the world through our congregation and denomination.
At a recent gathering of moms of young children, there was discussion about how hard it is just to find a few moments of quiet to be still with God. It can be difficult in our harried, traffic jammed, rushed get-the-homework-done-and-get-to-practice-on-time (and don’t forget dinner!) suburban world to make time for prayer. So how do you pray?
Here is a brief interview with Phyllis Tickle about Christian prayer in our busy lives: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/week331/belief.html
She says that her regular prayer is not petitionary – it doesn’t ask for anything. Are you familiar with that kind of prayer? Is it hard or easy?
Later she says that regular prayer is like growing a spiritual muscle. Do you think you need the discipline of regular prayer like Phyllis Tickle? Is that kind of “spiritual muscle” meant for all Christians? She also says that this kind of prayer is usually practiced by monks and nuns, but is being practiced more and more by regular people. Do you think you could practice this kind of regular prayer throughout your day?
Tickle’s prayer books are available on Amazon, and you can have a look inside the book without buying it here: http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Hours-Two-Prayers-Wintertime/dp/038550540X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383146382&sr=1-3&keywords=phyllis+tickle
Perhaps your prayer time is in the car during your commute, or while you are driving your children or while folding clothes after everyone is asleep – whenever you pray, I know the Spirit is with you and that God hears your prayers.