Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prayer and Connection

Outside my office window today
Henri Nouwen, in Here and Now, speaks of the impact of "the attentive repetition of a well-known
prayer."  He writes of praying Psalm 23 over and over, even though he doesn't feel at peace, and even though the world around him is busy and ugly.  He prays the prayer anyway.
The deeper these words enter into the center of my being, the more I become part of God's people and the better I understand what it means to be in the world world without being of it.
What does it mean to be in the world, rather than of it?  Yesterday I spoke about isolation, and how I believe we have to be part of the world in order to shine our light... to be in the world without being of it.

What is our source?  What is our origin?  Where are our roots?  Are we rooted in the world?  Or are we rooted in God's kingdom?

I go to work every day, and I feel as if I have a purpose and mission in what I am doing.  I'm using the gifts I have to contribute to the ministry of which I am a part.  Sometimes I get to go on the road, and visit with other people and other places.  And yet, none of that is where my roots are. My roots are at home, with my family.  I am called to go out, and yet I am connected to home.

Could it be that that is what Nouwen was talking about?  We are called to go out into the world, to use our gifts, share our time, contribute to God's ministry, and yet we are to be connected to God. We are to be  "of" God.  In God we find our home.

And so, prayer, even though it sometimes feels as if it is not connecting us to world, its purpose is to strengthen our connection to God.

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