This past week as I was reading an article from Christian Reflection entitled “Pray without Ceasing” the final sentence caught my attention,
“Explicit address to the Lord, whether in private or in corporate worship, is a moment of filigreed ornament in a deeper and more quotidian process which is identical with the Christian life as a whole.”
I reread the sentence a time or two and then had to look up some of the words to make sure I understood what the the writer was trying to tell me.
Why do I share this with you (other than to confirm my limited vocabulary)? It got me to thinking back to the question I asked a couple of weeks ago, “What is the best advice on prayer you ever received?” One piece of advice I remember is “Pray as you can, not as you cannot.” That strikes me as a simple and profound truth. I guess it can be used as an excuse to be so satisfied in our prayer life, we are not open to trying new ways of praying or to think that prayer can be more. But I really don’t see it offered in that spirit. I think it speaks to a humility and honesty we should bring to prayer. We should not try to pray in other people’s words if they are not our words. We need not try to look and sound like someone else when we pray. Prayer is a place we can stand honestly before God. We stand as we are. No masks, no put-ons, no hiding. I don’t always find that easy. But in my deepest heart I know it is how God wants me to come. And it is how God meets me.