(St. Francis of Assisi in a moment of prayer and meditation)
I have been astray from a regular prayer life as of late. I truly pray for others and their concerns, but there are times when I get caught up in prayer and yet I know it is communication with God.
I get caught up because I start thinking and analyzing how I can be the answer to my prayers. It is true, sometimes we are the answer to our prayers, and when we are I think we should act on it. But there are times where we can’t be the answer, that the solution doesn’t lie at our fingertips, but still I fight this more than I should.
Prayer doesn’t make me out to be weak, it does point to where I realize I sometimes don’t have control over what’s going on but just like in day-to-day life I need help. Yet my mentality about prayer has been warped at times because I self-delude myself into thinking “I got this” and subsequently leave God off to the side until I need God. I can’t say that it’s been truly detrimental, but sometimes I wrestle with my thoughts and feelings on my own, I’m selfish about this too much of the time.
One quote that has renewed my spirit is one from C.S. Lewis, he said; “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.”
Prayer is communication with God, and like a father who’s there so I should return to him as his child and pour out my heart with no guile, no perception of having to tidy up my words and thoughts. My analytical skills are useful, but they hamper me with being real with myself and situation[s] in the realm of prayer, and yet God knows my heart and my mind, God knows what I long and ache for at the core of my being. This is why I want to come back to praying as a child, because a child has an innocence about them that is endearing for not having gone through the strains that come with life, a child trusts and believes in good more over than bad, a child loves without strings attached because it doesn’t get bogged down in analysis and weighing out the pros and cons.
This is the posture I’m returning to; a posture of recognizing how helpless I really am, and how I need to approach life as a prayer and have it flow in and out of me as if it were breathing. I will do what I can when social justice and help are required of me instead of praying for the situation, but even still I will return to a posture of prayer because “it doesn’t change God- it changes me”.