Praying- not talking

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 29:12-14

Yesterday I went back to the yellow fields; or, as I like to describe them, “the rows of unpackaged canola oil”. I had needed a break to clear my head, and the stunning splash of yellow is just a short walk from dad’s assisted living residence.

Earlier this week I wrote about the gift of peace in prayer. Today I am reminded that prayer is a constant opportunity that presents in many forms. Simply speaking to God maybe the most common, but in my experience it is just scratching the surface of what is possible.

Walking down to the fields was certainly a prayer. Looking over the sea of blossoms was a prayer. Watching the slight ripple of the surface in the breeze, like the swell of an ocean, connected my soul directly with God. Shutting up and listening – first – invites God into the moment. Breathing in and breathing out, conscious of the life that flows through me, floods my being with the holy.

Most of productive prayer involves me not talking.

(Derek Maul)

The key is to be conscious of God and to invite the Holy Spirit to inhabit our life. It is not about having A), a life, and then, maybe, B), a spiritual life. We simply have a life, and the question is more that of, “How much of God do I accept in every possible aspect of my life?”

If I see my life as spiritual, then God is necessarily there. Prayer can be as simple as reminding myself – ourselves – of that truth.

– writer Derek Maul

Then doing the dishes can be prayer. Walking the dog. Serving my family. Shopping. Cooking. Singing. Writing (even for a secular publication). Laundry. Gardening. Paying the bills. Even sleeping (“Loving God please guide my rest tonight and fill me with more love so that when I awake in the morning I will be refreshed and ready to follow you…”).

DEREK

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast

James Montgomery (1818)

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