I don’t know about you, but I struggle to dedicate time to prayer. I know people who wake up in the early hours of the morning to read their daily devotional or to contemplate scripture.
This is not me. And I gave up trying about a year ago.
No, I’m not a quitter. I just realized that it just isn’t how I pray.
The topic came up the other day in my book group. The question was, “how much time do you dedicate to your spiritual life?”
Struggling to bite my tongue and keep my opinion to myself, I heard the words come out of mouth defying my brain and my desire to be non-confrontational, “what’s the difference between your life and your spiritual life?”
An awkward silence hung in the room. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and I actually started to shake.
“I mean, shouldn’t our lives be spiritual all the time? Shouldn’t our goal be to make our life a daily prayer?”
My voice shook as I said it because I knew what I was saying was probably going to test the spiritual practice of each lady sitting there.
I didn’t say it to be self-righteous. I didn’t really want to share my thoughts on prayer but I guess the Holy Spirit had a different idea. My hands were trembling and I kind of wanted to cry. I was overwhelmed by my body’s response to speaking my truth.
“I think about what Mother Teresa said, to see the face of Christ in everyone we encounter. Even in the annoying cashier at Kroger or the mean person tailgating me.”
It’s true. And believe me, this way of encountering the world didn’t come naturally. It took lots and lots of practice. So I guess it was a spiritual practice until it became a spiritual habit.
So now my morning prayer time is pretty simple. Pretty much upon waking I thank God for the gift of another day. I surrender to His will for me for that day and I ask for these three things: help me to see the face of Christ in everyone I encounter, help me to be the face of Christ for someone else and teach me to love better.
That’s it. My simple morning prayer.
That’s kind of all I have time for before my brain takes over and my to-do list becomes my focus.
But guys, it’s not about the prayer itself. It’s about gratitude and connection and love.
It’s about living the prayer.