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Tue, Aug 19th - 5:15PM

Why Pray?

Talking or writing about prayer might be compared to talking or writing about brushing your teeth. Every Christian does it so what is there to say? But like so many aspects of our Christian journey, an exploration of prayer takes us deeper into God's love for us and widens our knowledge and love for God. A deeper love for God naturally manifests itself in service to God's world. And so prayer is one of the ways we as Christians participate in the healing, reconciling work of God. It is also one of the ways we keep our eyes fixed on the alternative vision of human life that Jesus came to show us and into which his Spirit leads us.

Our motives in praying are as varied as our particular life situations: we pray when we are fearful, anxious, or grieving. We pray when we are thankful, when we are repentant, and when we need courage. We pray out of habit. We pray when we "find the time". When we cannot pray, we rely on our faith community to pray for us. Essentially we pray out of a deep longing which resides in us. Often we cannot even name thatlonging. Whatever motives bring us to prayer, at some point we recognize that prayer is a natural response to God's initiative. "Thou has made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." wrote St. Augustine. Planted deep in the human heart is a longing, a restlessness that only God can satisfy. God gave us that longing and God gives us the faith, the trust to follow that longing into an awareness of God's abiding presence. It doesn't matter that we pray for a host of motives. God meets us where we are and as we are and the encounter with Love which we call prayer gradually purifies our often mixed motives.

Why pray? Because it is one more measure of God's grace inviting us into the fullness of human life, inviting us into the awareness that we and all creation are immersed in the love of God.

Glenda Meakin, rector of St James Anglican Church, St Marys, Ontario 1996 - 2000

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