Saturday, June 29, 2013

Practical Theology


1 Thessalonians 5:17 says:
Pray without ceasing.

Henri Nouwen said:
The discipline of prayer is the intentional, concentrated, and regular effort to create space for God.

So, to weave those thoughts together, couldn't we say:
At all times we should create space for God.





That sounds a little more attainable than 
"pray all the times"(The Message).
More accessible than
"pray continually" (NIV).

Of course,
even with those translations, 
the scripture
is not mandating us 
to walk around with
heads bowed, 
eyes closed, 
hands folded.
That sounds more like
the hypocrites 
on the street corners
who beg for praise
from others.
(Matthew 6:5)

But if God's words
are inviting me
to intentionally make space 
for Him
in all my life, 
during all my moments,
for all of my days, 
well now -
that I can do.

In the morning, when I rise,
I can breathe in 
and remember God is Life.
And I am in prayer.

When I brush a little set of teeth, 
I can celebrate the God who is the Creator of enamel.
And I am in prayer.

When I smell my hands over and over
after using White Tea & Vitamin E soap,
I can ask my life be a pleasing aroma to Him.
And I am in prayer.

When I stand at the stove, 
cooking groceries bought without thought or care, 
I can praise God He has abundantly provided.
And I am in prayer.

When my children are fighting and fussing
...again, 
I can draw on the strength of Him who is Peace.
And I am in prayer.

When I laugh - hard and long,
with children ablaze with joy, 
my chortles become hymns.
And I am in prayer.

When my husband takes my hand, 
and smiles sweetly, 
I am captured again by the Bridegroom.
And I am in prayer.

When milk spills, 
and chocolate ice cream stains;
When fingernails get dirty, 
and feet smell;
When toys become landmines;
and clutter threatens to reign;
I can make space in my heart and attitude for God.
And I am in prayer.

And sometimes, 
I can close off
and close up, 
finding 
a quiet place of solitude
which extends my 
undivided attention
onto the One who's been with me all along,
and to whom I have permitted entrance
to all of my routine.
And even then, 
in the stillness, 
I am in prayer.

So, the command to pray without ceasing 
becomes a way of living.
A way of thinking about
and filtering life.
A way of walking in each moment
with hands open to receive
whatever might come
because 
in all things
at all times, 
we can be creating space 
for Him 
who holds all things together.

May we dare to see all of life as potential prayer, 
an offering to make room for the One 
who knows us best
and who loves us most.




2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you...your affirmation always makes my heart glad!
      I love you!

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