Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Prayer. Do we have it backwards?

I sometimes think we have it backwards when it comes to prayer.
We think it is about us getting through to God.  But perhaps, it is more about God getting through to us.

I like what Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, wrote in his journals,
“One kind of person thinks and imagines that when he prays, the important thing—
the thing he must concentrate upon is that God should hear what he is praying for.
And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just the reverse.
The true relationship in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for,
but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears,
who knows, what God wills.”

Beatrice Bruteau, in the book “Radical Optimism says something  similar.  God, she assumes, is always attentive toward us…. Unlike that nasty judge  - and so what is needed is for us to turn all our attention toward God.  This can be just thinking about God, reading scripture, prayer, meditation… there are so many ways to be “persistent” in our approach to God.  Be we just keep focusing on God.  Approaching God.  Seeking God.  Listening to God.

We are like spiritual stalkers….. And that is when it happens….Bruteau writes, ”We hold steadily on the realization of Jesus’ personal being turned toward us, and we ourselves are responding with a whole mind that has no other thought than what we are answering to him.  Our attentions, his and ours are locked together, each pouring itself fully and strongly into the other.”

Persistence opens the flow.  With persistent pray, persistent focus, little by little the power of God begins to trickle through and penetrate our hearts so that we don’t lose heart.

Persistence creates connection
Constant connection causes us to be locked together with the Divine
And our sense of the divine presence
The divine love

And then it flows
That love that passes our understanding
The love flows, presence flows, guidance flows, spirit flows, God flows,

And that changes everything. 

So take whatever it is that is in your heart
Take that hurt
That problem
That situation
Take whatever it is, that seems unsolvable, unresolvable
Whatever it is that makes you feel helpless

Take it
And give it to God…
And again
And again

And at the very least, God will happen

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