“I’ve learned that prayer is not just about trying to get God to do what we want God to do but about getting ourselves to do what God wants us to do. Training us to be the kind of people God wants us to be.”- Shane Claiborne (Red Letter Revolution, 2012)
As Mary DeMuth begins Chapter 1 (“Pray Like This: Pray First”) of The Wall Around Your Heart, she emphasizes the three words introducing the Lord’s Prayer: “Pray like this.” She adds that it seems almost counterintuitive to pray these words in the midst of adversity. Our human inclination is to point out the faults of those responsible for our vocation loss, to ruminate on the issue until our heart embitters and we grumble.
The author notes that the Greek word for “this” is proseuchomai, meaning “to face or look toward”, “to declare out loud, express a wish.” The word always is used in reference to God. As we speak to God face-to-face, sharing our hearts and burdens, we choose to worship Him in the process. God is bigger than our current pain. Anger is stopped from becoming a volcanic sinfest. Mary concludes:
” . . . the beckoning of Jesus remains the same. He wants to be a part of our pain, to walk alongside us through the bewilderment, to shoulder the burdens we pick up so quickly by ourselves. And He wants to invite us to community, so others can be His hands and feet when we can’t feel or walk.”
Today’s question: Even if prayer wasn’t your initial or most frequent response following your vocation loss, how can you now be intentional about putting prayer first? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “God’s Way or the Highway”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Who is Jesus?”