Thursday, September 9, 2010

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

On this absolutely gorgeous 72 degree day, Tom and I decided to visit the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI since there was a Chihuly glass art exhibit on display for the summer. We fell in love with his work during a trip to Phoenix a couple of years ago. I took many pictures (no!!!!!) because the sun was popping in and out from behind the clouds continually changing the colors of the glass.
The sky alone was a masterpiece! I could have just taken sky photos and been thrilled! We were surrounded by true beauty. I kept thinking about something that Philip Yancey wrote in his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? when he asked a friend named Marcia about prayer and she spoke of the "other" hours in her day: "Conversation can be a prayer. Think of the Samaritan woman at the well, talking with Jesus about water and mountains and Jerusalem--wasn't that a prayer? I like to think of my conversations with people as prayer. I speak to Jesus within a person. I ask, Lord, let this lunch or tea or whatever be a prayer. When I read the Bible, that's a prayer. I don't read Psalm 73, I 'pray' Psalm 73. I willingly refer my actions to God, and in so doing they become a prayer.
"I'm a painter. I pray as I paint, and my painting becomes a kind of prayer. If someone asks me for help in prayer, I tell them to find what they most enjoy and do that, only do it for the glory of God. For you it may be writing or climbing a mountain. Ask God to remind you, as you do it, that you're doing it for him. Often as I'm doing what I enjoy, specific requests come to mind. I pray instantly, as soon as something comes into mind, and I trust God to bring it to mind.
"Spending time with God is what's important. We spend the time anyway. Why not recognize that we spend it with God, and then act like it?"
Then Yancey continues to say that "listening to Marcia, I realized how easily I compartmentalize my life. I had the notion of prayer as a spiritual act oddly unrelated to the rest of my life. Out of a sense of duty I would put in the time, sometimes gladly and sometimes not, then get on with the real business of the day. I have since come to see prayer as something like a warm-up excercise, not an end in itself but a means to an end: to increase awareness of God at all other times."
I guess that today was one of those days. I "felt" God everywhere! It was a beautiful day.

1 comment:

  1. You must have gotten my vibes! We went up to Meijer Garden just last Saturday, and I took "old-fashioned" pictures because I had temporarily hidden my digital camera. Got the photos back, and look at them again and again. Did you like the "mushrooms" growing out of logs in the woods? Must talk!