Prayer.

Praying Hands

…just taking a moment as I walk around my house and fix breakfast to reflect on the almost odd practice of prayer.

Prayer is a practice that I engage often. Sometimes I engage it publicly, but most often privately. Even then, it seems to be such a mysterious and almost mystic practice to me.

I still have so many questions about prayer. I want to know exactly how it works and all the ins and outs of why it matters. I want to know the theology, history and heart of it. There are books and commentaries and papers all about prayer, yet no one experience is the same.

Still, I sit in my questions and musings and realize there are few things that I do know about prayer and those are the things that keep me praying.

I know that prayer heals people. Sometimes it is a healing of the heart and sometimes it is a healing of the body, I have experienced both. Sometimes healing prayer is  laying on hands, sometimes it is setting an alarm to pray, sometimes it is simply stopping in the moment and being with that person. I’ve seen prayer heal and so I keep going.

I know that prayer happens in the desperate moments. Late at night when all the worries of the world are piling up, prayer is there. In the midst of a struggle with a spouse, child, or others, prayer is there. Wading through seasons of crisis and grief prayer is there. It is a comfort of sorts and so, I keep praying.

I know that prayer changes me. I’ve spent almost a year praying for someone I know and I think it’s done more to change my heart than theirs. I know when I pray for hard friendships, difficult family matters and even the struggles of strangers, my heart is awakened to the amount of compassion that I am meant to have for others. I am also reminded of how deeply I am also loved. And so, I keep going.

There are so many things I don’t understand about prayer. I don’t understand why sometimes it’s easier to do with a big voice in a group then it is to do in a quiet whisper in my bedroom. I don’t understand why sometimes it is joyful and sometimes painful. I don’t understand the entire endgame or how the process of communication with God fully works. Yet, I keep praying.

Prayer is a mysterious, mystical discipline. Prayer is changing my life.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 NLT

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