Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 30, 2015
How to Show Fruit. Prayerfully.
We are nearing the end of this slim, little book, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray. The topic of today’s chapter is on fruit. Or more specifically, fruitfulness. One of the outworkings of prayer is fruitfulness. Or, service.
Rev. Howell tells us about several people of stature who strove to lead lives of not only prayer, but also lives of fruitfulness, of service. Service to others, as well as service to God.
I was intrigued by this quote from Dorothea Day, that committed follower of Christ who was also a committed social activist. She asked, “Does God have a set way of prayer, a way that He expects each of us to follow? I doubt it. I believe some people—lots of people—pray through the witness of their lives, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people and receive from people. Since when are words the only acceptable form of prayer?” 
As someone who feels strongly and deeply that I ought to be of service to others, be kind and helpful whenever and wherever possible, I strive to do this, on a regular basis. Of course, I have the spiritual gifts of helps and mercy, so the Holy Spirit especially helps me in this effort. But that is not an excuse to shirk and hide! Certain people don’t have those special spiritual gifts, but that is no reason why they cannot be of service. Be kind. Be helpful. It’s as simple as holding the door open for someone with their arms full. Or giving someone you don’t know a friendly smile—just because.
I believe God is pleased when I get out of myself, off this hamster wheel of internal dialogue inside my head. God is even more pleased with me when I use my work, or my friendships, or my love to express the love of God to others.
In fact, I tried to be of service every day last year. My blog, A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service is a testament to that fact. I successfully blogged every day in 2014. I have a plan set for the rest of January 2015, and the beginning of February, up until Ash Wednesday, midway through the month.
I was also moved by the prayer that Rev. Howell uses to close this chapter. I take the liberty of closing with these words from English bishop Launcelot Andrewes, too. Such moving, heartfelt words.
Lord Jesus, I give You my hands to do Your work. I give You my feet to go Your way. I give You my eyes to see as You do. I give You my tongue to speak Your words. I give You my mind that You may think in me. I give You my spirit that You may pray in me. Above all, I give You my heart that Your may love in me, Your Father, and all human kind. I give You my whole self that You may grow in me, So that it is You, Lord Jesus, Who lives and works and prays in me.
Amen, and amen!
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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.
 Robert Coles, Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion (Reading, Mass., Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1987), 28.