Praying When Quiet is Hard
Frank's homily last weekend was about prayer, and how connecting with this vast something (who we call God) has the ability to ground us, make us grateful, and change the way we interact with the world around us. It was a great message, and if you haven't had a chance to listen to it, you can find it online here (now with improved sound!).
Because of this homily, I was thinking about prayer this afternoon while I was cleaning up the glider I found on Facebook Marketplace for the new child space in our chapel. I am a person who agonizes over words; I can get really caught up in whether I have chosen the right ones to describe what I'm feeling or to communicate most effectively. Sometimes this makes prayer hard. It keeps me from getting into the flow state, the easy communing, that can happen during quiet, meditative opportunities. I like quiet opportunities, but I can't always get my mind to stop looking for words and be quiet. I know I'm not alone in this. I know it's a practice, which means it takes practice.
As I was vacuuming the cushions of this gilder to make sure they were fresh for our guests, I remembered that this too is prayer. Using my hands to make space in the world for others; taking time to consider and invite folks into our life; hoping they'll know they matter and are beloved; these things are prayer. The right words aren't necessary. God knows what I mean.
I want to encourage you to think of your work as prayer too. Seek quiet time to spend with God if that is available to you, but know that every other part of your life can also be prayer. It reminds me of an Alison Krauss song my dad always liked, and the chorus said, "Take my life and let me be a living prayer, my God, to thee." So let your lives be living prayers. Take up your work and your solitude knowing that even when you can't find words, God knows what you mean and is delighted to spend time with you in the middle of it all.