View this email in your browser
Our Saviour Lutheran 56 Cleveland Dr. Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 

Living the Life of a Disciple Part 2

It always seems a simple question “Do you pray daily?” While the question is simple, the answer is rarely simple. I know many who do not pray at all, some pray only in emergencies, and quite honestly a small percentage pray daily. 

If you had asked me to evaluate the bulk of my life, I would fall into the “occasionally” category with a more recent daily. So, what switched?

The biggest stumbling block was always myself. Like many, I got it into my head that there was a right way to pray. I often joked that when I prayed, it felt like my prayers bounced off the ceiling and came back to me. Praying into an abyss seemed a bit pointless. It wasn’t a lack of faith in God, but rather a lack of faith in self.

My switch started with simple advice, in the morning say “Dear God” and in the evening say “Amen.” I do not remember who gave me that advice, but for a very long time it worked well. Turn your life into a prayer and an offering to God. So, I would get up and start my simple prayer and I began to change a little bit as time moved forward. I would pause in my decisions and ask “is this what God would want of me?” My prayers started to become more internal moving toward external in that my prayer shaped my actions.

Then I was asked during a spiritual counseling session if I listen to God? Again, a simple question, but the person meant in prayer. Do I listen to God in prayer? Even with my life as prayer model, I had to admit there was not much listening. I began to realize I had become the friend who would ask for everything, but care little about the other person’s life. I didn’t want to be a friend like that.

So, I began what is called centering prayer. It is a meditation prayer where silence is a part of the time. A word or phrase is chosen to bring you back to center when the mind wanders too much, but it is also a listening to those wanderings asking why is this on my heart and mind. What is God asking of me in these wanderings.

As time went on and as prayers became deeper, the prayer also focused on the images of God which I held on to. In an ancient book called The Cloud of Unknowing, the advice is to be always looking over the shoulder of the image of God you have recognizing it is a created image into a place of unknowing and mystery. I would not recommend this technique to first timers though as it will mess around with your faith images and held onto beliefs. 

So, how does one begin prayer? It begins with relationship. Recognize you and God are in a deep relationship with one another that is loving and holds no judgment about anything. How would you speak in a relationship like this? Would you hold something back? Could you be open fully and completely? Would you use fancy language or would you just talk and listen? It is this last question which points us the direction of daily prayer.

If you were to have a conversation with someone who loves you deeply, what would you say? That is your prayer to God.
Pastor Justin Johnson

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Our Saviour Lutheran Church · 56 Cleveland Dr · Croton on Hudson, NY 10520-2751 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp