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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Prayer as an Interactive

It’s been over 30 years since I realized I was on a journey with God. And, I still don’t have prayer figured out. Sometimes I think I have more questions about prayer now than I did when I started. I don’t have it all wrapped up nice and tidy. My theology of prayer is incomplete. You’d think I’d be a “prayer warrior” by now—one of those people you’ve heard about who does all those strange sounding words like “intercede” or “stand in proxy.” Not this guy. At least, not all the time and not as a habit. And certainly not by definition. But here’s what I do know: God tells me to do it. He tells me to be honest. He tells me he isn’t afraid of what I’m going to say. He says He hears. I’ve seen Him answer. He tells me to take time to do it. He tells me there is no formula or correct way—more importantly, there’s not a wrong way. Jesus did it. The bible is full of people who did it, encouraged it, were horrible at it, got angry during it, and shrugged it (things didn’t go well for the latter). And, He wants His people to pray together as well as alone. I’ve learned something about prayer in the last couple of years. I have to interrupt myself with it. I have to let God interrupt me through it. That takes breaks from routine as well as routine. It takes ritual and it takes being aware of the Spirit and inviting Him into my daily existence. Sometimes interruption comes when I step outside my comfort zone. Try on new spiritual disciplines. I imagine many feel like me. So, this weekend we filled the room with magical prayer jars (okay, they were just Mason jars). The jars were filled with clear water but everyone was invited to pray prayers of hope and drop food coloring into the jars. All different colors. The jars were lit on tables and the colors became brilliant. Diverse. Intertwined. It was a visual reminder that our prayers all count. It was a visual reminder that we are not alone. We “saw” the prayers of others. Our prayers went out and mingled with others. God heard every one. God saw every one. The Spirit interrupted us all.

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