I’ve talked before about the fact that I sometimes feel like desiring healing is selfish. Since Centering Prayer is primarily a way of healing my spirit, it brings up those feelings again. How can I sit alone with my eyes closed when there are dishes to be done, loved ones whom I owe a call, causes that need my energy, all kinds of obligations to be met?
It’s good to take a moment to step back and examine what my prayer practice is supposed to accomplish.
Just because it’s an activity I do alone, does that mean it’s just for me? Is the primary reason I desire the healing of prayer to alleviate my own suffering, feel better about my spiritual life, fight off guilt, check it off my to do list?
Prayer does heal my spirit. But prayer is not something I do truly alone. Prayer is something that brings me into communion with God. Through the practice of silence, I am emptying myself so God can fill me, and that is what heals me.
The effects of prayer don’t stop with me, either. The more I’ve allowed God to heal me and heal our relationship, the more God can affect whatever I do – even those mundane things like dishes or emails. The quality of everything I do can change. I can give of myself more fully. I can love more easily. I can sympathize with others more readily.
When I think about it this way, prayer is not a waste of time. Prayer can help me spend all my time more wisely. Prayer is time set aside to love God authentically, with more and more of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And when I do this, love of neighbor follows.
There is no commandment greater than these.
Today’s 15 minutes of prayer: Cross-legged on the bed as the last one awake in a sleeping household. So much activity in my day today – all good things, but made even better with a moment to rest in gratitude.