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How Do I Pray, Lord?

04 Jun

Today went by as one of those emotionally “gray” days…

Do you know what I mean? One of those days where nothing particular was wrong, but nothing particularly right either. Many around me have needs and prayer requests, and I take those deeply to heart.

Late in the afternoon I felt strongly called to prayer, but… but, I sort of didn’t know where to begin. I have friends in service to people with Covid19, both in ministry and health care. I pray for them, their protection, their hearts and their strength. Late last week some friends and I prayed for the recovery of a nurse, friend and mentor to a nurse friend. She passed away the next day. Some friends and associates are having their careers redirected due to politics and injustice, and we pray for their blessing and peace of heart. Of course, then there’s the news roiling turbulently all around us, the civil unrest and sense of injustice, combined with what seems like utter impotence to fix whatever is wrong…

It was odd, this afternoon.

I wanted to pray. I rested in Him for a while, of course. But then, I felt an urge to “get started”, and it was a sense of jumping on my horse with no idea which way to go… So much… So much pain, so much hurt, so much wrong, so much gray dullness… How should I pray? What should I pray? (And almost, but not quite spoken below all that… ‘Why’ should I pray? What difference would it make anyway?)

God’s answer surprised me.

“Praise Me, Little Monk. Just praise Me. Celebrate Me. Thank Me.”

This struck me as so strange. I didn’t feel like “praising”, or “celebrating”, or “thanking”. I felt more like the little kid who wants to go out in the back yard and eat worms. (Do you know the feeling? Like your very skin doesn’t fit right?)

I didn’t argue any of this with Him, of course. But then, I didn’t have to, did I? He knew my thoughts, but didn’t say anything. It just seemed like He smiled and let me sort this out myself.

So it began… and as I entered more deeply into worship and less of my own preoccupations… “This is the Age of Elijah” branded itself across my mental marquis. I went and found it on YouTube, starting with this,

and then found myself lost in rendition after rendition ever more deeply immersed in abandoned praise of Him. It must have been half an hour or more, just flowing from one recording to another, never breaking the chain of praise bridging my heart to His heart.

It was followed by…

 

All of this resulted in a glorious time of just praising and worshiping. I lifted those who’d asked for prayer, and others… I came away realizing that His ways aren’t my ways, and not only do I not know the solutions to all these problems, I can’t even articulate the problems themselves.

That wasn’t my job. Not my calling or responsibility. To pray is… to love is… to walk alongside my neighbors and share their burdens, trials, sufferings, and joys… yes!

And there’s grace enough for that! There’s strength enough for that! There’s joy enough for that! We come together, bear one another’s burdens, and strengthen one another.

The adventure ended here:

 

Somehow this all seemed quite fitting. Perhaps it will bless you and your day or evening as well.

Grace to you, Gentle Reader!

The Little Monk

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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