One of the big dangers when someone like me does something like this is that it can morph from an expression of love into a matter of willpower. How am I doing? I’ll ask myself. How long have I been on a prayer-every-day streak? Shouldn’t I be feeling the effects by now? Like it’s a contest, a diet, something that will give me Results that I can then hype to others so they can do it too.
But it doesn’t work that way. Even when you’ve spent a lifetime practicing prayer, distractions happen. Unmotivated days happen. You take two steps forward and one step back. Heck, sometimes you take two steps back.
This is not some kind of equation: I pray, therefore I deserve the Fruits of the Spirit back. I’ll work on love this week, peace next week, and so on… No. That’s worldly thinking. The fact is, prayer is worth it. Period. Even when it seems to make no sense, even when I don’t feel like it, even when I can’t point to some magical result.
It’s worth it because spending time with someone you love is worth it.
It’s worth it because I don’t know everything, so even when I don’t seem to be getting anywhere, change may be sneaking up on me the whole time.
It’s worth it because learning to enjoy the moment and see God’s presence around me is its own reward.
Today I did 30 minutes of prayer! In the morning, even! It may not happen again for a long time… or maybe it will. Who knows. Anyway, it felt great. Not that that’s the point, but it deserves celebration just like any other time of prayer.