Saturday, 10 October 2009

Prayer

It has been said that prayer is to the soul and the spiritual life, what air is to the lungs and body. If the lungs don’t work properly the body doesn’t perform the way it should and if you don’t pray, the same can be said of the soul. In a praying soul the vision of God grows in the mind, heart and spirit of the pray-er.

Personal relationships (coupled with a huge dose of honesty about yourself, knowing your personal traits) reflect the vision of God that is growing in your heart and mind. This is true in very close relationships with a spouse or partner, those we consider friends, those we consider acquaintances and then the vast majority of people who we meet on busses, trains, in the shops and so on.

We both feed and reflect on the life of God through praying the scriptures, especially the Gospels and spiritual reading. This reflecting has to be your reflection, free from ‘pious’ generalisations. It shouldn’t be forced. There are no right answers. In a room of 100 people each person would reflect differently on the words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid.”

Keep a journal. Note any thoughts that stick out during your time of prayer or jump into your head throughout the day. What is your first thought on waking up ? – write it in your journal. Week by week the journal may begin to reflect God’s revealing presence in your life. You may be pleasantly surprised. You may be shocked.

I think it was Brennan Manning in “The Ragamuffin Gospels” who said, “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.” Not a bad starting point for a pilgrimage in the spirit ?

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