Thursday, June 10, 2021

Pray without ceasing

Like most mornings, today is beginning with quiet time and coffee on the deck. It really is such a peaceful and serene way to begin the day. This day differs from most in that my mom is also having her quiet time and coffee on our deck.
While I am blogging, she is deep in her daily practice of prayer. Her prayer time is very intentional and purpose driven. Most people would consider it to be quite lengthy, as well. She says, "God gives me 24 hours each day; surely I can give him one!"

Admittedly, my purposeful, intentional prayer time has become nearly non-existent over the past few years. And yet I have become closer to God and more aware of the presence of God in me and around me than ever before in my life. I think this is the feeling Paul was experiencing when he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 15, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, ..."

In my awareness and communion with God, I don't begin and end with the Catholic salutation, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Most of the time I don't even directly address God. It's more like just being in the presence of God; each of us aware of the presence of the other, each sensing the thoughts of the other. I do petition God for the health and well being of others, but it isn't the same as the shopping list approach that I once had.
That's not meant as a criticism of anyone else's approach to prayer; it's just a recognition of how automatic and insensitive my own prayers had become. It's like the adult version of me seeing the kid version on Santa's lap. While the kid version was sincerely expressing his desires, the adult version sees it as cute, but pretty futile.

But enough about me!
How do you acknowledge or communicate with God, the Christ, the Universe, the Tao, whatever you call the greater power of the universe?
Do you have a prayer time or prayer place?
Do you use daily or a regular practice of meditation?
Do you connect through a physical practice like yoga or running?
I know some use a walking meditation or labyrinth to ground their spirit.

If you don't have a regular practice to connect to God or ground yourself to the world around you, i would strongly encourage you to find a way to do that. You can begin by simply sitting still and focusing on your breath as you slowly breath in and out. Be purposeful about each breath -- slowly and deeply in, slowly and peacefully out. Feel your feet connecting to the ground or the floor. Recognize the spirit within you. Breathe.
Seriously, a few minutes of simple breathing can slow the heart, quiet the mind, reduce stress, and bring peace to your soul.

If you are on Facebook and want to begin a simple practice of meditation, try The Mediocre Buddhist.
You can participate in morning meditations MWF at 7 central time, or watch at your convenience anytime.
I really believe that before you can find God in the Universe, you need to find God in yourself. The Bible says that we are created in the image and likeness of God. When you look in the mirror, look for God. Look into your eyes, look into your soul. Find God in you. You are connected to all things through The Christ that lives in you!
That is the Good News!


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