Monday, 4 September 2017
Do Christians pray and pray and pray and pray...
Well! I had a wonderful "mini-retreat" kind of weekend, all my myself...and feel much more assured that You love me, are with me, approve of me...and are guiding me even when I don't "see" it in any emotional or concrete way--but on the other hand, this whole weekend has been pretty concrete that You are in me, in my life.
Yes, I'd like to somehow be more "clearly Christian" and "reach out to people more clearly" and be surer that I'm including You in all my daily activities...but I'm glad to know You are with and in me, even without the "for sure, clearly."
The Flee, Be Silent, Pray book by Ed Cyzewski has been a great help and assurance. And I really do feel relieved at the thought of being able to have short devotional times a few times a day versus intensive many chapters of scripture reading and long prayers once a day.
The only thing I wonder about is all those people with their needs that I've been praying for day after day. I always remember hearing about that girl in India who would pray for over 500 people every night ... and great men of the church who'd pray for 4 or more hours a day on their knees in the closet or at their bedside, wearing dips into the floor. And Susannah Wesley's prayer times with her apron over her head while her dozen children ran around (although she did have a cook, gardener, and maids to help with the kids!).
We were so taught that real/great Christians prayed and prayed and prayed--until they "broke through" (every day), though they seemed to be mostly men (reverends) with wives to take care of life, or single people without too many other responsibilities!
Oh well, I've always been attracted by Brother Lawrence's approach (as in The Practice of the Presence of God) which is much more of being aware of and listening to You in all the little moments of the day. And now this book I just read about "The Divine Hours" and "Contemplative Prayers" and "The Examen."
Maybe I could do my "list everyone" prayers once or twice a week--or divide up the list into 7 days--so I don't sometimes have the feeling of it "hanging over my head" all the time. (Terrible of me to have that attitude, eh?)
Okay, so I'm going to order The Divine Hours books by Phyllis Tickle. And I also have the Anglican Prayer Book that belonged to my grandfather, and the Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne et al. Those should keep me going in a way that I can really handle, in a way that I can focus on You throughout the day.