Thursday, March 15, 2012

spring break '12 & prayer

it doesn't feel like spring break.  I'm calling MTI sites for internships, and reading for my upcoming weekend class, and taking H to school - and registering her for kindergarten (holy s**t!).  James' birthday is less than a week away and I have no idea what I'm going to do about that.  sigh.

Actually, the most thought consuming task I am in the midst of is being brought on by a single bolded section of the syllabus for my class Spiritual Discernment & Decision Making.  It reads as follows:

 Discernment presupposes that the person has a habit of prayer, so you are encouraged either to continue your regular habits of prayer or to discover a prayer pattern which provides the grounding for a loving discernment and discerning love in your life. 

I spend a lot of time talking, teaching, sharing, advocating for, and thinking ABOUT God, but praying or spending personal time with God? uh... my bad.

Prayer and the idea of prayer has become my screwtape letters devil experience.  Since my babies died, and God's people suffer all over the world, cancer kills many who pray dutifully and death passes over those who never pray a day in their lives,I have struggled with the idea that prayer is somewhere that people ask God for help, or to do things for them.  I am almost physically ill when I hear others pray like that, and  it's practically physically impossible for me to pray in that way.  To put it simply, I cannot believe in a God who "answers" some people's prayers and not others.  That, to me at least, is not the meaning of Love.
Additionally, I still have that childish lingering feeling that if I simply use prayer as a way to chat-it-up with God, I'm wasting God's (and quite frankly, mine as well) time.

I believe that God is present with me when I am gathered with friends, my family, alone.  I believe that God is my constant companion, my "invisible friend" who never leaves me and is always in love with me.  I believe that, if I had to claim a way I pray, I would say that at any time I want/need, I turn my inner eyes to a corner of my mind and see God's hands on my shoulder, God's face emitting emotions based on my own feelings/situation but always mixed with love and concern.  Maybe that constant speechless yet empathetic companion is my way of praying?? hmm, more to think about....

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