December 23, 2021

2 Thoughts on Prayer


Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven.

Lamentations 3:41
Two thoughts on prayer:
  1. Nearly all of us practice some sort of physical manifestation of prayer. It may be raising our hands and eyes to heaven, it may be kneeling down, it may be folding our hands or holding our hands open in our laps as though to receive something, or it may just be bowing our heads and closing our eyes. Unless we're on the move or busy with our day's work, this is a good thing. Our bodies tell our brains that something's different, and the communication that's happening is special. But it's not just our bodies and brains that are at work, and it's not even just our mouths doing the praying. Prayer must also involve the heart.

    But we don't always feel it. We are human, after all. So it's still important to pray when our hearts aren't engaged. In this way, a holy habit can help get us back on the path. But heartless prayer won't go on for long. The goal is not the bowing of the head or the speaking of the words, but the heart-to-heart connection we share with God.

  2. During Advent, the appointed scriptures often tell us to be alert, to stay on the lookout for God. But we shouldn't take our eyes completely off our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, our fellow human beings. For the scriptures also remind us that alertness also means sensitivity to others' pain, to others' needs—or even their joys.
Thus may Advent be a time when my communication with God gets back on track, and when my concern for others wells up within me in prayer and overflows in generosity.

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
 Ephesians 6:18
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me, dear Lord, to pray as you have taught me and to love as you have shown me.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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