What if prayer doesn’t have to be reading the Bible, saying the psalms, praying the prayers? What if prayer doesn’t have to be saying/asking/reading the right things – “Oh holy God, please give me/make me/help me xyz, and I will wqr, while reading scripture and the psalms and the prayer book.”
What if valid prayer is reading a bit in a little book on journalkeeping, like How to Make a Journal of Your Life by D. Price – Please, Lois, grow more and more into your true creative artist self for my sake – or seeing the refracted light of the sun falling through the prism of the window glass onto the page of my journal, and photographing it? Is this not prayer? It is, I say!
So why does my guilt reflex kick in and say If you don’t read the scriptures and say the psalms and pray the prayer book prayers God will be mad at you and won’t give you qxrzp, or whatever?
So, I took up my camera and banished the guilt reflex. I photographed the page of my journal, with the colors of the refracted sun falling on it, and there is no describing the joy of that act of true prayer!
In the past few months, meetings of the Executive Committee (the officers of the Vestry, which in the Episcopal Church functions sort of like the Board), and of the Vestry have become to me more like worship than meetings. We do the business, but woven throughout we share the things that have meaning to each of us, in our lives, in the church, and in the world. Isn’t that worship? It feels like worship. It feels like being in the presence of the Ground of Our Being. The atmosphere has changed and I have independent corroboration of that. We are having fun. Imagine that.
What if we came to church on Sunday and, instead of the usual order of worship, we sang some songs, and read some scriptures, and then reflected on them together, and then we shared with one another the things we have been doing in the past week that felt like God was with us and in our being and doing, and asked help from one another for the doing and being of our lives in the coming week, and then we prayed the prayers of our hearts, and sang some more songs, and then we broke bread and poured wine and prayed over them together and shared them with one another? Wouldn’t that be worship? It would indeed.
Out of the depths of our desire for you, O Holy One, I call to you, O Holy One, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication:
Send your breath of life from the four winds.
Let your breath blow through this place, through our churches, through our homes, through our lives.
Let it blow through the buildings in which we worship,
Through the rooms below and the rooms above;
Let it blow through the whole church,
And fill her people with your breath,
That we may live only for you,
A light to the nations,
The glory of your saving Son,
And the flesh and blood and bones,
The hands, feet and heart of your steadfast love for all people.