Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 3 of Lent :: Learning to Pray

“When you pray, go into your room,
close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”
Matthew 6:6

The Lenten season calls us to pray.
But prayer, Jesus teaches, is much more than saying words. He said, “go into your room, and close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.”

Before you pray, enter the inner room of your heart. Shut the door to the noise, the trivialities, the countless cares grabbing for your attention. Put them aside. In the quiet place of your heart, with faith as your guide, speak to God. A gracious Father listens, and he knows what you need.

Disciplines of prayer provide patterns for attending to God throughout the day. Such prayer isn’t so much sustained by a sense of duty, but by a desire to connect and grow in intimacy and communion with God.

God helps us pray. For those who have stopped praying, or pray with little fervor, God gives graces for praying again. Now is a great time to establish a personal rhythm of prayer. Set aside a few moments each day for prayer. Perhaps commit to praying with family members (or a friend) once a week or even everyday for the remainder of Lent.

: What does your present rhythm of praying look like? Has it become marginalized to exterior arenas of your life? What would it look like to bring it back to a more central place? How can you practically take steps toward this becoming a reality over the next several weeks?

Action: Establish a “prayer place” in your home. Decorate it with images, books, music that foster prayer and contemplation. Use this spot today and as often as possible in the future.

“Prayer is not a substitute for action;
it is an action for which there is no substitute.”
Jane Edwards

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