Sunday, January 9, 2011

you are free to pray

Let imagination (which, of course, includes heart) be the key ingredient in your prayers. Prayer should be free.

Prayer is a heart open and inclined to God. Because it is open, it is a heart Jesus enters. Because it is heart, it is open: open to try new things, to pray new ways.

Pray on your knees,
on your couch or on your bed,
on the floor or standing on your head.
Stand up or sit down;
smile or frown.
Curl up like a fetus.
Pray with your eyes closed or open.
Picture a tree in your mind’s eye
or look at a tree with your right eye—
regard what he made
a different way.
Pray with a cup of coffee or a piece of cake.
You can draw a picture for him
or write a letter to him.

Imagine God’s words to you,
for prayer is listening as well as speaking
(and prayer is just resting--not speaking if you don’t feel like speaking).
Prayer can be more being than doing.
Prayer can be short or long.
Prayer can be tears or strong

You can be angry in prayer. God already knows you are angry before you open your mouth. He would rather have you express your anger to him than ignore him.

Prayer needn’t be happy; it can also be sad. Discover in prayer the truest friend: he is always right by your side, ready to place an arm around you. You can be sure he cries with you because he already cried the deepest prayer of sadness possible long before loneliness beset you: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

God is so big and so great you can even cast him in different roles in your prayer-plays.

He can be your lawyer, pleading your defense;
he can be your shepherd, rescuing you from the rock-face.
Believe it or not, he can be your mother or your sister.
In the same way, she can be your brother or father.
He can even be a teenager because he was a teenager once. Imagine that!
Let him be an artist, for he created the heavens and the earth.
Let him be a dancer, for he surely dances over you every moment.
Let him be a singer; did he not inspire the poet-king David?
He has been a shield, a defender.
He has been a tower
And power.
Let him be the hours, Alpha and Omega.

Call him what you will; just call him. If you get his name wrong, don’t worry, he still remembers what his name is and he will still be who he will be even if you mistake him for another.

I have laughed in prayer. You can, too, because “Abba” rhymes with “Ha” quite nicely.

You are free to pray.
Your heart is already open.
Jesus has entered.
You are praying now.

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