The Gift of Prayer

Weekly Reflection , Sunday, March 31, 2019

By: David May, Rector

I’ve been living with an image this Lent. It’s an image from childhood of me stepping into a small stream of water, barefooted. My feet sink into the silty bottom and stir up all those tiny particles and turn the water cloudy. Then I watch as gradually the water clears and I can see down to the bottom.

For me, an image like this is one of the ways I find myself drawn into prayer with God; where my spirit and God’s Spirit confer, heart to heart. That last part of the image – watching the water come clear again – is what I’m living with these days. My experience of being settled on the Northern Neck, and then suddenly, being wrenched out and plunked down in a new life here stirred up a lot of silt and made the water really cloudy! But gradually, it’s clearing, and I can see deeper now. This Lent, I’ve been still to let my spirit confer with God’s Spirit, heart to heart, to watch the cloudy water clear.

It’s hard for me to remember how important it is to spend this life-giving time with God; to pray with God. But more and more, I find that if I don’t allow God to draw me in, to incline my heart to God’s then something important in me becomes arid, stale, and lifeless.

This time has been a new gift and a reminder that prayer is not a conversation that I have to begin with clever words to entice God to respond. No, God has already begun the conversation, already spoken, and waits patiently for me to answer. A very wise person once encouraged me by saying, ‘just pray your life, whatever it is, with God’. That’s exactly right.

This gift of prayer, of letting our spirits confer with God’s, to draw heart to heart with the one who made us and will always love us, somehow settles the cloudiness that the ‘cares and occupations’ of the day stir up.

My prayer for each of us is to pray your life, let your spirit be drawn to God’s in holy conference, heart to heart. Receive that gift to let us see deeper, past the surface, into the depth of the clearing waters.