Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Place to Pray

We are invited - or would you say commanded by God - to pray.  So we should pray.  But how does the environment in which we are living impact our prayer lives?  How do we impact others' prayers?

Henri Nouwen, in Here and Now, says this:
It is very heard to live a life of prayer in a milieu where no one prays or speaks lovingly about prayer.  It is nearly impossible to deepen our communion with God when those with whom we live and work reject or even ridicule the idea that there is a loving God.  It is a superhuman task to keep setting our hearts on the kingdom when all those whom we know and talk with are setting their hearts on everything but the kingdom.
So, what do we do?  If we are in an environment that makes prayer difficult, what do we do?  For many, changing that environment is impossible - we can't leave it, and we can't change the people in it.  Can we find time apart from that milieu (as Nouwen calls it) to pray?  Can we move to be in contact with more Christian friends?  I'm grateful for my accountability group (Emmaus Reunion Group) because it a place that nurtures prayer.

And what about our activities and their effects on other people?  Can we create a place that is more nurturing for the prayer lives of other people?  What do we do that discourages them?  What do we need to change?

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