The Necessary Luxury of Prayer

Time was made for you, you weren’t made for time.

Anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing

There is something about it that makes me feel so rich: to take fifteen minutes, twenty, thirty, and sit down and just breathe for awhile. To say, Yes, God, I have time for you.

This month I’ve been working hard and playing hard, with a sustained intensity I haven’t known since college. Every moment is scheduled. Everything I’m doing brings me joy, moves me forward, or keeps me sane from day to day, but it’s still tiring.

How luxurious to say, Why yes, I would like to just sit for awhile. Thank you.

The more I do prayer, the more I realize it’s one of those necessary luxuries – those touches of beauty without which life becomes claustrophobic and dark. Like fresh flowers on the windowsill. Like holding hands with your beloved. Like singing in the shower.

This, too, is a lesson of prayer. Some days I grit my teeth through it, and most days it doesn’t even bring me immediate peace or calm. It’s a practice and a discipline – and it’s a joy.

Or at least it leads me to joy, like rolling out of bed on a cold, dark morning and dragging myself up a mountain to watch the sunrise. From way up there, I forget the arduous walk, losing myself in the grandeur and beauty of the widest possible view.

Today’s 30(ish) minutes of prayer: First thing in the morning, still struggling to leave the dreaming world, with a cat on my lap.

I’m spending this month blogging with other Faith and Inspiration writers at The Nester’s 31 Days challenge. Here’s the complete list of my posts for the month so far.

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