Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 3, 2015
Hanging On—Or Letting Go? In Prayer.
How often am I like Martha, “worried and distracted by many things?” (Luke 10:41) Yes, I am often worried and distracted. Generally, in life. But in prayer, when I am ‘supposed to’ be in prayer, or when I am ‘missing’ my time of prayer? Such barriers are so common in my life.
I am drawn to these sentences from my prayer guide by Howell: “Prayer is hard, because it is like letting go. We hang on to what is familiar, even if it’s of no great value.” Hanging on to those things or ways or practices that are familiar is sometimes like a millstone around my neck, weighing me down. Other times it’s like wearing clothing that just doesn’t fit on me anymore, and is hopelessly binding or constrictive. Hanging on to those things are also like busy time-wasters that fritter away my available time, leaving me with only the crumbs to offer to God.
When I prayed today, those words from Luke echoed and re-echoed in my mind. God, are You trying to tell me something?
I don’t _think_ I am too busy. I still have a little leisure time. I am trying to follow the excellent advice of my friend Jason, a full-time church worker at the time. I received these good words several years ago, when he told me he blocked out three basic time slots a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. He suggested that I only schedule two of those time slots per day for work, and leave the third free for myself. I have been trying to follow his excellent lead and advice.
My friend’s words are useful not only for scheduling and calendar matters. His suggestions are useful in matters of prayer and relationship, too.
Let’s pray. Dear God, I want to be able to offer You a real relationship, not just the crumbs and scraps of time that are like leftovers in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Help me, God. Please. In Your mercy and for the sake of Your grace I pray, amen.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 18.
(Suggestion: visit me at my sister blog for 2015: (The Best Of) ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com Thanks!)