I‘ve been re-reading Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel. In it he writes this concerning prayer:
“In prayer Jesus slows us down, teaches us to count how few days we have, and gifts us with wisdom. He reveals to us that we are so caught up in what is urgent that we have overlooked what is essential. He ends our indecision and liberates us from the oppression of false deadlines and myopic vision.”
There is so much meat in that quote: each phrase is worth pausing to reflect on its application in our lives. Isaiah writes something similar:
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 11: “come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden…?” He walked this earth, He knew how wearisome and difficult life here can be. Not just on our bodies, but especially on our spirits.
My point in all this is: if we approach prayer the same way we approach the rest of life; in a hurry, seeing it as just one more chore in the list of chores to do, moving quickly to get to the next task: then we have missed the whole purpose of prayer. Don’t be as concerned about the “what” of prayer: the content, the prayer list. Focus instead on the “who.” If its only for a brief moment, slow yourself down in our loving God’s presence, take a deep breath, collect yourself and try to “see” all your temporal concerns in light of the eternal and spiritual. Let Him slow down and reorient your spirit. He can, you know. And will. Go for it.