I find the practice of prayer powerful and difficult at the same time.  The powerful moments come when my prayer life is in full swing and I realize I can handle almost anything that comes along.  When I make space in my schedule for 30 minutes of quiet time spent in silence there is a very real sense of joy and satisfaction that begins to build with every half hour of prayer.

The difficulty comes in making the practice a regular habit.  Thirty minutes does not seem like that much but when a deadline is looming or an event is about to happen, it is sometimes easy to ignore the time for prayer and get after whatever is before me.

I’ve learned, though, that when I take the time I need to focus on God and God’s love for us, the various issues and crises of the day are rarely hard to face.  This is not to imply that God fixes things for us when we learn to pray; “to rejoice in the Lord always,” as Paul puts it.  No.  Rejoicing like this helps us to be grounded.  It is a spiritual anchor that helps us pay attention to the things that matter the most in God’s world.

This practice of prayer, like most things that are important, is easier said than done.  However, one of the keys to learning to pray is to adopt the Nike slogan: “Just do it.”  The next step is to decide when.  Dan Postema in his book Space for God, writes, “I used to write in my daily calendar, ‘7:00-7:30 AM – Prayer.’  But many times I passed that up.  It was one more thing to pass by that day.  Now I write ‘7:00-7:30 AM – GOD.’  Sometimes that is a little harder to neglect.”

His words were helpful to me at a time when I felt overwhelmed by my schedule.  They were a reminder that celebrating God and God’s presence in the world through prayer is not about waiting to be in the right mood, or having enough time, it’s about making time for God. 

Do you realize that Jesus was considered a wild-eyed radical for suggesting that anyone at any time could go to God in prayer?  We may not think of it as a radical act anymore but it still has the power to change our lives.

Today in my quiet time I prayed for you, the members and friends of Country Club Christian Church.  It was a wonderful moment and a powerful reminder of the beauty of this community of faith.

Grace and peace to you,