When’s the time to pray? Why do it? Indeed, how do we do it?
There are many right answers to these questions and not many wrong ones.
I like to think that prayer can be a sort of worry that has a positive tinge to it... it’s a faith-based worry; a concern for things that’s always good for us.
It is becoming more normal for me these days to just simply pray when things become untenable rather than resist these things; and it’s not even that I’m consciously aware of it. Prayer is to become an instinctive action of the soul seeking itself in God.
Let’s consider the trilling moment—the time where all seems awry. The faith-gaze has the soul forlorn for a reason—the Spirit interceding, now with welcome allowance, to the otherwise confused state of being. This is the patient demise of the self to the venturing-in of God’s Spirit.
Finally we’ve ‘learned’ (via the Holy Spirit) this patience transcending our very human understanding.
The only way we get to a position of praying without thought is to start doing it all the time, and particularly so when we can easily bellow—within our inner selves—our prayers of praise and thanks i.e. when things are running hot and well.
This is easy practise. The trouble is most of us sit on our laurels at these times. We need to get up and get busy. Get praying when times are good.
When Life Goes ‘Wrong’ On Us
When things become horribly impossible, prayer is the only answer. It really is an admission of who is in control—for we are not!
Prayer is never the wrong thing to do when the world goes haywire on us, for the fact remains, the world’s not the problem so much—our default view of things is generally the real issue.
Our prayers then can help us conform our thinking, or at the very least they convict us to a simple peace that God has all this chaos somehow in his charge.
The Therapeutic Nature of Prayer
This concept then has a soul-beauty about it; even as if we weren’t there and weren’t able to get in our own way—for there’s nothing worse—getting in our own (and God’s) way.
Prayer, therefore, is appropriate separation and ‘detachment’ to the coursings of life. It facilitates the gentle rocking of the soul anesthetised by its Lord.
We’re only benefited to train in this activity—to make it part of who we are. It can only help. Our identities are fused this way to a God who designed life, in the first place, to happen in fusion with him and his Spirit.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.