Someone once said that all people pray. I believe that. Everyone prays. Sure, maybe there are a few confirmed atheists who don’t pray. But, I would bet that in hard times, even Atheists meditate and comtemplate and...
Almost everybody prays. And, for most of us, prayer is that steady daily time of connection with God that keeps us going. If I started the day and things got away from me, I would sometimes miss my prayer time. Usually, at the end of the day, I would remember that. I always responded to the day and others better when I pray.
Even secularists are teaching others to spend some time in thought, meditation, reflection. They recommend that every person start the day with a few moments of silence.
We pray not to change God, but to change ourselves, to bring ourselves into that connection that saves us and makes us whole.
Jesus prayed. It’s one of the things about him that the disciples noticed most. Before Jesus gave us the Lord’s pray, Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray.
A noted preacher said: “We spend a lot of time asking Jesus to answer our prayers, but we don’t spend as much time trying to answer his prayers.” What if being a Christian, a follower of Jesus, means that I try to live my life as an answer to Jesus’ prayers.
One of Jesus’ great prayers is recorded in John 17. He prayed: “Lord, I do not ask you to take them out of the world...”. Then, why do we spend to much time trying to get out of the world. If God loved the world so much, then God still loves the world. Jesus prayed for us to stay and live out our faith in the world, in this world. Here and now.
Earlier in John’s Gospel Jesus says: “They will know you are my disciples by your love.” Stay in the world and love. Doesn’t sound that hard, right? No, in fact, it sounds very hard. And yet, nothing is more meaningful than the love of God. The love of God is the answer to everything; that’s why we call it salvation.
My blue grass group sings an old Dolly Partin number. The words say: When we’re gone, long gone, the only thing that will have mattered is the love that we shared and the way that we cared, when we’re gone, long gone.”
So, this Lent and beyond are you living your life as if you are an answer to the prayers of Jesus?