Prayer Beyond Words

 “In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” – Mark 1:35

One thing that has impressed me almost from the first time I read the Gospels is Jesus’ discipline. He went away to pray regularly. He attended meetings at the synagogue “as was his custom”.
In this story, his closest disciples were surprised. By the end of his ministry, they understood.

In the faith versus works debate, I do not consider spiritual disciplines or spiritual practices as works. Although, they can be. It depends, of course, upon attitude.

Did you ever here the phrase while growing up, “Please assume an attitude of prayer”? In the protestant tradition that I grew up in, this meant bowing your head and closing your eyes.

The attitude of prayer is more than posture.

T.S. Eliot, the American/British poet, wrote, “And prayer is more than an order of words, the conscious occupation of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.”

Someone asks you to pray. Your stomach tightens; your mind races. What will I say? Will I sound stupid?

Praying aloud is comforting to others, but that is merely scratching the surface of prayer.

The Renovare Spiritual Formation publication of the Bible discusses the variety of spiritual disciplines. Of prayer, it says,, “Interactive conversation with God about what we and God are thinking and doing together.”

Some of my most meaningful prayers have no words. God listens for my breath. I listen for God’s.

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