Monday, August 27, 2007

Prayer Synchroblog

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

This is my prayer today.
[Matthew 6:12-13, The Message]

Lyn at Emerging Women announced a Synchroblog for today... here's the topic:
The question for the synchroblog is "How Do You Pray?" The idea can be to discuss what your prayer life does or doesn't look like now compared to how it used to be. How do you view prayer? What part does it take place in your spiritual life right now and so on, you get the gist!
I'm in a Spiritual Formation class right now, interning, and taking a class on discipleship. This should be a no-brainer.

DREAM GOAL: A regular, heart-felt, authentic prayer life. A wall of strength and reinforcement of my faith and my emotional condition. A gentle yet gritty reality of God's protection and love in my life. Not perfect, at least not this side of heaven. Yet, something with a solid foundation. Substance. And beautiful.

REALITY: "Um... Uh... God? Yeah. I opened up my prayer journal to write and then the cat horked. I'm sorry. I meant to pray after I cleaned that up and the phone rang and then I remembered I hadn't changed over the laundry load from last week and the clothes are mildewed. SO I have washed them again. Oh... I'm babbling. Forgive me. I want to listen to You. I will do this right first thing tomorrow... Amen."

PLAN: Sit down right after the house is quiet (everyone is gone to work/school) and read/write/pray. Before anything else. God first.

Life hits. "I forgot my lunch." "The bus never came." "Can you stop and pick up a prescription?" I think I will get back to it. I rarely do.

MID-COURSE CORRECTION: God first. Prayer first. Period. Set the timer. Do it.

Sam's Club opens at 10 a.m. and I need to be gone BEFORE the lines are so long. Or it's a doctor's appointment. Or the car has to go in for an oil change. Now. Or someone called with a family crisis and needs prayer and can I visit their Aunt Susie in the hospital? And I just remembered I promised a double-batch of brownies for the pit orchestra rehearsal at the high school. The list is ridiculous and endless.

REVISED PLAN: A RevGal mentioned Pray-As-You-Go which has download-able podcasts for the work week. I love them. No it's not always "my" kind of music. That's not the point. Many times as I listen, I hear something new and wonderful from God that I had been wrestling with for a while. Or there's just a quieting. A bit of perspective. The music, Scripture reading, and meditation quiet my heart, focus my mind, encourage my soul. Between this and using the Fellowship of St. James lectionary readings, I believe I will have more success.

Papers. Projects. Assignments. Seminaria Fertilizia abounds! "Deeply reflect" on this spiritual concept or that for a formation class. "Interact with your fellow students" in 250-300 words on this specific wondrous philosophical question that will only confound the wise. And, I, being simple, totally wipe out my brain.

I have struggled with this over the past year. I don't want to make my prayer life another exercise. And yet it is an "exercise" of my discipline. My commitment. My desire to talk with the Savior.

I've switched versions of the Bible (using The Message for devotional reading) and I don't try to do ALL of the St. James readings. I am working on consistency with PAYG. I'm achieving more success. But it is far from perfect...

And here I sit, blogging. And it is time to pray.

Dang... This being human thing sometimes really sucketh.



Erin said...

Deb - Thanks for contributing to this conversation. I really relate to how you share about the distractions of life. Isn't that the truth? It's a good thing God is always available, or we'd be in trouble.

Unknown said...

lol, yep that reality is a real bummer :)

Barb said...

I always wanted to kill those preachers who made you feel like you needed to do something each day "devoted" to a prayer time. I thought, "you certainly do not live in my world."
thanks for being real about the real distractions.

Lyn said...

Thanks for this Deb. I love the way you have shared your plan and then the reality - so true.

Anonymous said...

"Dang... This being human thing sometimes really sucketh."

LOLOL! Ain't it the truth?!

loved your depiction of reality and somehow, I think God understands too. I used to live in guilt and sadness that my prayer life was more consistent ... I knew someone who rose at 4:00 each morning to pray. Of course, it was a bargain she made with God if he saved her son. But, God knows I have all these children to take care of, He knows the demands on my time. Now, that I rest in each moment with Him, I find my prayer life has become consistent.

Sally said...

excellent and honest post deb, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh this is a great post!
The realities of life.
Our intentions don't always align.
I really appreciate your candid honesty.
This helps the cycle of being real.

Unknown said...

What a neat post on prayer. Glad you wrote it. I have been working on mine more too.