Inviting the Spirit of God to Provide

 In Featured, Inspiration

Written by Jody Slaughter

“Prayer is the center of the Christian life.  ‘It is the only necessary thing (Luke 10:42).  It is living with God here and now… Prayer is most associated with talking with God, thinking about God, morning and evening prayer, Sunday services, grace before meals, sentences from the Bible…and all of these have something to do with prayer.   But, prayer is more about just living with God in the here and now. (from, ‘Prayer and Peacemaking’ by Henri Nouwen)

I’ve always been so intrigued, baffled, and inspired by prayer.  James 5:13 and 16 says, “Are any among you suffering?  They should pray…confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”  We could all share experiences of how prayer changes things, or us, or both.

When we pray for someone, a certain situation, or a personal need, we are extending compassion. Being compassionate is to be present with the suffering in a non-anxious way.  When we pray for someone, we typically want the suffering to be eliminated, but because we live in an imperfect world we will face difficulty.  Certainly, we pray against evil and for healing, but no matter what we pray, our hope is that the person we are praying for does not feel alone in their suffering.

When we pray we feel passionate for another’s well-being.  As we express our compassion through prayer, it changes the energy and atmosphere for good.  That truth helps me to know that even though I don’t know the end result of situations for which I’m praying, I do know something good happens when I share compassion through prayer. Prayer invites the Spirit of God to provide. Prayer opens our eyes and heart to see how God is at work to bring about good during difficulty.  The image in Revelation 5:8 is that our prayers are as “golden bowls of incense” which tells us that “our prayers are honored beyond anything we imagine here on earth.  They break through the time barrier to join the eternal worship.  Angels bring them before God with reverence and tenderness.” (commentary from ‘The Life with God Bible’) It sounds as if our prayers awaken God’s senses to our concerns.  Whether we understand it or not, something good and beautiful happens when we pray alone and with others.

Being honest and open in conversation with our Creator God is prayer; being compassionate is prayer; being mindful and thankful is prayer. “Prayer is a way of life that allows you to find a stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to God’s promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbor, and your world…It is the unceasing recognition that God is wherever we are, always inviting us to come closer and to celebrate the divine gift of being alive.” (from, ‘With Open Hands’ by Henri Nouwen)

May we pursue this way of living with God in the here and now as we pray with and for one another and our world.

Jody Slaughter is the Spiritual Care Minister with Prince of Peace


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