Chapter 7: Prayer within the Reality of Life
“Jesus was not a hermit, focusing his entire day on prayer with God. He was out there in the world, as each of us is. He was in relationships. He was doing his work. He encountered people of all kinds, just as we do each day” (page 84).
I love the example that the author uses with the lamp and the wick. As I consider this I think about what am I immersed in? What source of energy is my wick resting in? At this point in my life I can honestly say that it would be my prayer life. I tell people that one of the blessings I have of living alone is that I can have quiet time any time I want. But for me to really engage in prayer and set aside the time to do this I get up early and start my day with prayer. It’s not always been this way, but as with all things our prayer lives evolve and we continue to find what works for us. My time for prayer right now is first thing in the morning. And by first thing I mean I am up before the sun most days. My prayer chair sits facing east so I am able to watch the sunrise during my prayer time. This morning when I got up I sat with the book I am using based on the Spiritual Exercises. I read a short piece, reflect on what it says to me and contemplate what God is asking of me. I talk, but I listen too. After my prayer I get ready for the day. This routine works well for me and allows me to start my day with the most important conversation I will have. As the day progresses I continue to enter into conversation with God, asking for His help or asking for His intervention for someone. Next weekend I will take a 3-day silent retreat – a kind of vacation with God – to recharge myself and renew my relationship with my creator. I’m hoping for mild enough weather to spend some time outdoors.
Yet, we can’t retreat our way through life. We can’t spend all our time in our prayer chairs and never come out. What about the top part of the wick? As we stay immersed in God we also reach out to those around us. The author gives us four questions towards the end of the chapter to help us recognize the top of our wick – who are those people affected by us having our wick immersed in the right oil! Take some time to really consider those questions:
Who has God given me to love?
Who is my neighbor?
What is my work?
What are my other responsibilities?
Most days I know exactly who God has put into my path and I can plan ahead, but then there are the days that I am surprised by who walks in the door of my office, or calls me on the phone, or sends me a message. By keeping myself immersed in God’s grace and love through intentional prayer I can meet those whom I come into contact with each day with grace and dignity.
What is your wick immersed in?
Patty Mayer, Director of Adult Faith Formation
My reflections based on the book: “Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life” by Becky Eldredge given out to OLIH parishioners at Christmas 2018