So, it‘s a peaceful, tranquil Sunday. It’s day 3 of the 30 challenge, so I’ll certainly have a blog post completed today and yet, it’s valuable to take stock of your situation, to enjoy the blessings that you do have and get some mental refreshment when you can.
And Sunday is a perfect day for that. Even more so, as we move into fall, enjoy the weather getting crisp, the leaves changing and then the end of summer and its vacation feel.
This was my plan. Take it easy, write a simple, contemplative and short post and see about getting back into the grind tomorrow morning.
Then I got a request from Joan Kappes of @Joan_Kappes of Twitter fame and more importantly the spirit behind http://cometotheedgetoday.com/. It was simple enough.
“What is prayer?”
Of course, I’ve spent some of the day tweeting about #SoaringSpiritSunday so why not take a few moments to consider that question, considering that the Soaring Spirit I’m referring to revolves around prayer and a relationship with God.
So it came to me that the question could not be more timely for me to write my Flash NonFIction on a subject of Joan’s choosing.
So, what is prayer?
Well, if you read my #SoaringSpiritSunday post, you’ll know that I believe that prayer iis a great way to open any undertaking. I recommended tuning into the spirit and then setting out on your adventure. Great advice, if I say so myself, and I wish that I would take my great advice more often.
And I do take that advice when I think of it, when I have a chance to sit down and set out on my adventure. But it is not an ingrained habit and I don’t routinely do it before any action or pray continually, living in a sort of state of grace.
In fact, I’ll go a bit further. I think that I might use it as a last resort, as a sort of battlefield believer. I think I might apply as a form of spiritual first aid, in response to a symptom as opposed to a holistic approach to heal the underlying problem.
And I generally apply it topically. Here’s a problem or challenge that appears so overwhelming that I feel I need to go to my spiritual medicine cabinet and pull out the tube of InstaPrayer and apply it liberally to the wound.
So, let’s see. So far, prayer is, for me at least, a specific last ditch request for help in response to a perceived problem. So, it’s like the genie coming out of the bottle to grant me wishes, but only if I”m on the edge of the cliff or facing some other deadly peril. If I”m backed far enough into a corner that regular human responses haven’t worked, I go to the superhuman approach. And, of course, the problem has a full head of steam by then and there s no longer the easy fix.
No real surprise that I feel as if I’ve had no great response from my prayers, is it?
Perhaps it would be better if I changed my approach. Maybe I can make prayer as constant as my breathing, as something to apply to all aspects of my life, as a reflection of thanks for the things already done and received. Perhaps I could live from the result of my prayers before I even ask. Perhaps I could be like those who seem to live in a state of wonder all the time.
Sounds like a great plan.
So why haven’t I?
Well, maybe I’m afraid that if I try it, and things don’t immediately turn around, I will feel as if I have nowhere else to go. After all this is the mack daddy of aces in the hole, the big one. If the creator of the universe can’t make it happen, who can?
Is that really what I’m afraid of? Hell no.
What I’m really afraid of is that I will have to change, live from right principles all the time, that I will have to be an example, that I will have do what I know is right and shed the habits and desires I have that keep me where I am.
Because I know that the answer to any prayer requires that I make the first move.
I will have to make the first move and do all that I can do on this plane before I appeal to a higher plane. And that is hard. Seemingly harder than living with the disappointment.
And perhaps this is a first move. Maybe answering this question is the first move I have to make.
So, we may not know any more about what prayer is in general, but we have a pretty good idea of what it means to me. And I believe that Joan will have lots to work with for her blog post.<ins