The Last few weeks we have talked about encountering the Word of God and ways that this Word becomes manifest to us. On Epiphany we considered the birth of Jesus, on Christmas we considered the idea of incarnation specifically, but we also reflected on people such as Oscar Romero who lived the incarnation and Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke words of the Word to which we need to attune ourselves. The Word comes in many ways, and we need to be listening.
Prayer is really at the center of this attuning ourselves. We often think of prayer as simply asking God for our needs, and it certainly can be that, but in many ways, prayer is the very heart of our existence because it teaches us to attune ourselves to the heart of all existence, God. Prayer is practicing God’s presence. Prayer can be difficult, silent, overflowing, or any other number of different things (and not always easy and warm feeling), but prayer is turning our ears to the Word that God is speaking, and opening ourselves to that attunement more and more. It is not a practice we master or perfect–it isn’t about mastering–it is about the constant process of formation that we are on as we seek to hear and encounter God’s Word, practicing God’s presence.
So this week, Erica led us in a short reflection on prayer, focusing on the work of Henri Nouwen, from which we moved into actual practice, with prayer stations throughout our space. Erica offers some good centering thoughts as we all figure out how to make prayer a central practice of who we are.
She also offers us these questions to think about as we meditate on prayer this week:
- What gifts are you aware of right now? Where do you see Jesus suffering with his people?
- What would it look like to move through your day with an unceasing awareness of what is around you? How would that be different from your life currently?
For convenience sake, there is also a podcast available. You can find that here.