I often wonder if prayer, like faith itself, isn’t unique to each person. I know of people who say prayers in the morning. Others offer theirs at the end of the day. My hunch is there are many who only pray on a rare occasion and usually in dire circumstances. Some pray when running or waiting for the light to change. And there are those who “pray without ceasing” (as Paul encourages).
Prayer can be a touchy subject. In some it stirs guilt. Others express feelings of inadequacy. Many of us simply wonder about the whole enterprise. And it is mystery, is it not? That God hears us all? That the Spirit interprets in every language? And that our praying makes a difference to the Lord of the universe? But prayer is certainly central to the life of faith, a core component of belief. We would likely all agree that it is important… but is it comfortable?
A recent email I received quoted these words of poet Ruth Forman: “I wear prayers like shoes…” (You can listen to the full poem in audio by going here: https://www.ruthforman.com/category/poetry/ ) What a wonderful image! Shoes are not always comfortable but they are necessary. And feet are pretty important if you think about them. When they work they take us where we want to go. Forman claims her prayers carry her “through the uncertain day.” And she thanks her mother for the gift of learning to walk girded with prayers. She’s grateful “cause this life ain’t steady ground…”
How do you walk the unsteady ground of this life? What carries you through the uncertain day? Are you “dressed” spiritually as morning yields to evening? Another wonderful image comes from Scripture. It’s in Ephesians 6 and it’s often called “the armor of God.” With these words we are encouraged to wear shoes so that we are “ready to spread the good news of peace.” (verse 15). I’d say that’s a prayer by which the whole world would be steadied!