Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lenten Focus: Prayer

Prayer must be the topic God is trying to get into my brain today.

I woke up praying - usually this is God's way of getting my attention, letting me know there's something in my life I need to either let go, or simply let God deal with it.

Then my beautiful cousin posted a lovely quote from Henri Nouwen on my Facebook wall....little did she know that Nouwen is one of my favorite writers....

"Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday mornings or mealtimes. Praying is living. It is eating and drinking, action and rest, teaching and learning, playing and working." - Henri Nouwen

Prayer is living. I love that thought. It's a living, breathing part of my life - and sometimes, I'll admit, I don't do it enough. Many times my prayers feel like I'm simply standing at the "vending machine" of life, asking for intervention. I know that's not what prayer is in my head, but somehow that message doesn't always seem to travel to the 18 inches to my heart.

I once heard that people who are successful continue to practice their "art" (be it music, sports, drama or another creative outlet) even when they don't feel like it. Maybe prayer is like that. Even when we don't "feel" like it, we should do it, because it keeps our hearts "tuned" to God.

Hum.

The other prayer reminder came from Facebook as well today, as the findings of a seminary friend. She wrote of discovering a three-minute prayer retreat that's online as part of the Loyola Press offerings. (A ministry of the Jesuits, part of the Catholic faith).

Simple, easy and even self guided - if you want to take longer than three minutes, you can.

The "tag line" for the prayer time is "3 minutes of prayer a day, can give you 24 hours of peace."

http://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer.htm

You can take today's retreat, or "surf" for a previous retreat - the topic might be just what you need this morning. I found this one, which seemed to resonate with my desire to eliminate things during Lent and fill the empty spaces with God.

http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/Bookcovers/58886_empty-space.swf

A couple of prayer thoughts today, as we enter into the second week of Lent - kind of a spring housekeeping for your soul - as we prepare for Easter.

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