Praying Alone

Praying Alone

The most precious gift we have received is the possibility of knowing our God.  In the Older Testament, we read stories of God doing very human things… walking in the garden in the evening (Gen. 3:8a); speaking with Hagar (Gen. 16.13) and with Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:1); wrestling with Jacob (Gen. 32:30); visited Gideon to assure him of the results of a battle (Judges 6:22); meeting with Samson’s parents (Judges 13:21, 22); walking with Daniel & his companions in the furnace (Daniel 3:25).  

We might wonder why we don’t have those kinds of experiences.  Imagine taking a long walk with God along the shore with an early evening moon!  Or seeing a stranger walking near our house and realizing that the stranger was God!  Wouldn’t it be easier to know God, to talk with God, if only God would appear like that today!  But St. Paul assures us that we always have all that we need for conversations with God – which  means we always have the ability to pray!  The Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans.  Romans 8:26.

Too often, we think that those who know how to pray pray have some special insight into “how to”.  This page hopes to counter that presumption by providing weekly approaches to prayer.  Remember that there is no “one size fits all” in prayer.  Try one approach for a few days.   If it doesn’t help you connect with God, try something different.  Come back often.  Hold to what helps you to connect with God.   

Could it be….

Could it be??  Yesterday’s reading from Matthew 25:1-13 got under my skin.  Ten “wise”/ten “foolish” bridesmaids.  It doesn’t seem fair that the only thing that mattered was whether they were smart enough to bring extra oil.  The ones who are either scatter-brained, or too busy to think ahead, or broke… these didn’t bring extra oil and so missed the celebration. 

Unless it really isn’t about the celebration at all.   I wonder how the story would have changed if just one of the foolish ones decided that – just maybe – having a bright lamp was less important than actually being there to meet the bridegroom when he arrived.  Maybe the brightness of her lamp was less important than everyone thought.   Maybe it was really important to be there to meet the bridegroom when he arrived, even if her lamp was really dim or even dark. 

Could it be that this passage is about having the courage to go out into the darkness of this world – carrying only the dim light of your faith and your hope – to meet the God who is present even in midnight darkness?