Hi everyone, David here.
“Teach us to pray!” The disciples had been watching Jesus for some time when they asked him this. They must have noticed his prayers had power; they worked.
Most folks don’t actually see a lot of results when they pray; they get discouraged and come to some terrible conclusions about their spiritual life or God’s heart towards them. Honestly —some prayers work, others don’t, and there is a reason why.
Some prayers just happen, they are “the cry of the heart.” No training needed when it comes to this kind of prayer. We’ve uttered it thousands of times. Like when the phone rings and the bad news starts to spill and all you can do is say, Father…Father…Father, your heart crying out to God. It’s a good kind of prayer, rising from the deep places in us, often unbidden, always welcome to his loving ears.
But most people get stuck there, which is kind of like ending your education somewhere around the end of primary school. There is more.
The other kind of prayer is far more intentional, where we take up sword and shield and start making an impact through strong, determined prayer. We call this kind “the prayer of intervention.” Meaning we are intervening. Men and women were meant to rule the earth, and though we royally screwed up our first pass at that, God didn’t switch to Plan B. He intervened in and through Jesus of Nazareth to restore us as sons and daughters and put us back in the action. “Rule and subdue” is still the mandate. When we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth,” we are acting as agents with God to bring about change, to enforce his Kingdom.
There is an element of prayer that requires us however to just stop talking, put away the lists, drop the fancy language, and listen. God has so much to tell us and share with us if we would just be still.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Fr. Richard Rohr’s prayer (above) comes from Psalm 46:10.
Perhaps this is what prayer is all about – listening, being still, and less talk.
May you this week be still and listen, maybe you’ll hear what you need, maybe in the quietness you’ll gain the perspective you want, and maybe you will find yourself in prayer.
Grace and peace.