Prayer is a gift

Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm happy to report that I've been less scatterbrained lately. And it's a relief, because being scatterbrained is demanding. I felt like there was never enough time in the day to get things done. I felt unorganized and absentminded. Every day I had this feeling that I was forgetting something.

But lately, the days have slowed down, at least a little bit. I feel a little more organized. A little more - peaceful.

What happened?

The structure of my life is no different than it was a few months ago. The stuff that fills up my day is the same.

It's just that I finally remembered the thing I was forgetting.

I was facing daily life - the good and bad of it - without daily conversation with God.

I was forgetting to pray.

For me, God is one of life's great mysteries. His existence is completely beyond our human understanding. But we know he loves us, because he sent his Son to die for us, to pay a debt that we could never pay. And we know he loves us because he sent us the Holy Spirit to communicate with us.

This is an incredible gift. God sent us the Holy Spirit so he could live within each and every one of us. How amazing that we have a loving, mysterious God who has set up a way to be in constant communication with us. God actually desires an intimate relationship with each of us.

It's comforting to know the Holy Spirit is active in our lives at all times. Even those times when we forget to acknowledge its presence.

Forgetting to pray is not forgetting about God. But if WE want an intimate relationship with God, we need take advantage of the gift we've been given and pray.

Prayer is a powerful thing. Prayer brings the steadfastness of God into the uncertainty of our daily lives. It brings light to our fears and our joys. It gives us a new way to see our lives. And through prayer, God empowers us and gives us strength.

It's obvious to me that in the last few months - and at other times in my life as well - I wasn't paying attention to the Holy Spirit working in me. I muddled through those days, denying myself the clarity that can come from having heartfelt, everyday conversations with God. Thankfully, despite the fact that my prayers often feel awkward and imperfect, I know God sees through my imperfections and listens.

"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," Philippians 4: 5-7.

• Becky Corson is a member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

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