April 5, 2017

Lent 2017: Day Thirty-One

Week Five: Larger Fears Require Bolder Actions

Reflection for the Week: How can I be a courageous partner in God’s creative goodness?

Do you pray? If you go to church each Sunday you say the Lord’s Prayer, you may say a Prayer of Confession, and you may say a Prayer of Dedication, but do you pray? What I am getting at is that “saying” a prayer isn’t the same as “praying.” Oh, I think the Lord’s Prayer is important to share together. On those rare occasions as a pastor when someone else is leading the worship and I sit in the congregation, it is one of the most moving moments in the service to feel the swell of voices around me united in our Lord’s Prayer. There is a sense of communion with each other in that moment.

That’s what prayer is to me — communion. When I am truly in prayer I am lost in communion with God’s Spirit. I confess that for much of my life my prayers were more one sided. They were also spontaneous and tended to come when I needed something from God. I am not saying you shouldn’t ask God for things in prayer. We need to know that God is indeed here for us, and will respond to prayer, especially prayers of praise for strength and guidance. But, it would be sad if the only time we talked with God was when we needed something. How do you think any parent feels when the kids only call when they need something?

Prayer is a two way conversation. Prayer is a precious shared moment of spiritual communion. Have you ever thought of praying regularly just to share your day with God, to have a conversation about the blessings you saw, and the struggles you faced and give thanks for the strength that came to see you through? Have you ever tried praying for ten minutes giving one minute to what you have to say and nine to what God has to say in return?

If our God’s name is indeed hallowed, if we want God’s kingdom to come, if we want God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, if this is our payer, then we better be good listeners.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I seek your will and way. Amen.

Rev. John Farley
Dean of Cabinet
California-Pacific Conference