Last month as part of Thy Kingdom Come and the Diocesan Year of Prayer we were praying in our new prayer room at The TRINITY Centre, 24 hours a day for 4 days. It was wonderful to take the time out to seek God for those we love, for the town we love, and the world we love.
Then a chance conversation about prayer reminded me that prayer is so many different things to different people. Some time ago I was seeking God to help me write a preach on the theme of prayer and I was struggling to pull it all together so I just sat down and waited on God. These are the words that came.
Prayer is a conversation.
not one way, but feels a lot like that sometimes.
Prayer is having Gods undivided attention. Not engaged, not on hold, not the 27th person in the queue, prayer is getting straight through when the line doesn’t even ring.
Prayer is solid, dependable, words on a page, liturgical, lyrical, it’s rhythmic, routine.
It’s out of kilter, out of line, stand up on the restaurant table and shout at the top of your voice.
Prayer is a weapon, a fighting tool…
a comfort blanket, a hot water bottle,
It’s rough and ready, its harsh, it’s loud angry shouting,
it’s quiet and soft, whispering in the ear of a loved one, it’s gentle singing, it’s worshipping the most amazing wonderful person that one could ever even begin to imagine.
Prayer is being tucked up under the duvet, needing a fix to even move one toe out into the cold harsh world.
Prayer is a longing, a desire, an unquenchable fire burning within and unable to get out.
Prayer is in the mud, in the dirt, getting covered from head to toe, in the grime, in the gutter, a desperate plea, just a few words uttered,
Prayer is stepping out of those grubby clothes, in a warm bath, bubbles, rose petals, it’s soothing, it’s gentle, soaking.
Prayer is the beautiful tune of a lover singing to their beloved.
It’s the most intimate thoughts that we share with no one. It’s the things that shame us, the things that define us, the things that no other living soul knows.
Prayer is the most dramatic, fantastic, all consuming, loving welcome: come on in, this house is your house, kick back, enjoy…
Prayer is a child curled up on their dads lap, arms encircling, loving, blessing, soothing, warming.
Prayer is crying out together in defiance. in pain, in love, in desperation. It’s standing alongside each other, battling, warriors, in unison in our pain.
Prayer is angry, ‘what do you want from me’, where are you?, why have you forsaken me?
Prayer is sobbing, streaming, making a scene, it’s unattractive.
Prayer is laughter, hysterical, screaming, uncontrollable, giggling.
It’s wailing, longing, seeking, needing, begging…
Prayer is indulgent, it’s selfish, self seeking, self-serving,
It’s soaking, enjoying, drowning in love, like a depth of love you have never known
Prayer is burning desire, unquenchable, out of control.
It’s like breathing, like water, it’s daily bread.
Prayer is being at one. being at peace.
Prayer is: encountering God.