Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Prayer

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Do you think words are required to communicate with God?

Have you ever stopped talking (or not started) talking to God simply because there were no words for your situation or you didn't know what to say?

Such brings us to our word of the week: prayer.

Prayer: an address (such as a petition) to God in word or thought.

I like how author Anne Lamott summarizes her experience of prayer in three words: help, thanks, and wow. Sounds about right doesn't it? (I recommend her book to you by this same title by the way).

And I love that she includes the word "wow" as a prayer word for it speaks to the moments in our lives of awe (for good or bad) when we are simply out of words.

We don't need words to pray, I believe.

Though prayer is one of the most spiritual words there is, so many of us feel weird talking about our experience of it often because there is what we learned in a faith community about it AND then there is our real experience of it.

Maybe you prayed for years and nothing came of your requests?

Maybe you were taught a particular way of praying as a child that no longer seems to fit what you believe about God as an adult?

Maybe you don't believe enough to even begin to pray?

I want to clearly say today that prayer is about being present. Prayer is about being transparent. Prayer is about an open heart.

I love what Ann Lamott offers about prayer when she writes:

My belief is that when you're telling the truth, you're close to God. If you say to God, "I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don't like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You," that might be the most honest thing you've ever said. If you told me you had said to God, "It is all hopeless, and I don't have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand," it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real-really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together before we show up.

I hope you hear the honesty in these words as a gift.

Friends: you can bring your FULL self to the practice of prayer. You can bring the mess. You can bring your disappointment. You can bring your wonder. You can bring your silence. All of it.

God is with you this week no matter what. May you rest in God's nearness to you even now!