|Posted by Rev. Mike Richards on March 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM|
Through the season of Lent, we have been emphasizing the discipline of Prayer. For many, prayer is an obligation to appease a god who will rain down misfortune upon those who neglect it. For others, prayer is a means of accessing a divine storehouse from heaven to get what we "want" out of life. In fact, each of these views is deeply impoverished and inaccurate. The power of prayer lies in its ability to transform the pray-er. Prayer is the means whereby we cultivate and enter into relationship with our Creator, or God. This being true, prayer has little to do with formulae and methods and much more to do with openness, authenticity, and genuine reflection. The end of prayer is not about compelling God to move to our position on matters--however important they may be; rather, to allow God to form in us a more intimate relationship with Godself, and as a result, with God's Will and purpose for our lives. In this way, we move to where God is and place ourselves in the center of Divine Purpose. Prayer represents and offers a life of ongoing growth and conversion. It is God's invitation and is best experienced from a place of self-honesty and authenticity. In truth, a life of prayer (employing whatever techniques work best for the practitioner) not only offers us true self-knowledge, but begins with it. To know ourselves, as we truly were created to be, is to be liberated from self-deception and is the entrance to the pathway to Communion with God. This is the fruit of prayer--this is the invitation of Lent.
Grace and Peace,