a spontaneous reaction

I didn’t pray today.  No, I don’t mean that I didn’t pray at all.  I remember specific moments in which I did pray … but it’s those moments that I remember that I didn’t pray that are on my mind.

Henri Nouwen writes,

“Praying is no easy matter.  It demands a relationship in which you allow the other to enter into the very center of your person, to speak there, to touch the sensitive core of your being, and allow the other to see so much that would rather leave in darkness.  And when do you really want to do that?  Perhaps you would let the other come across the threshold to say something, to touch something, but to allow the other into that place where your life gets its form, that is dangerous and calls for defense.”

Prayer is work.  Prayer is unclenching fists, letting go, allowing the Spirit to do his work … the conforming, transforming.

Nouwen continues,

“Then you feel a bit of new freedom, and praying becomes a joy, a spontaneous reaction tothe world and the people around you.  Praying becomes effortless, inspired, and lively or peaceful and quiet.  Then you recognize the festive and the modest as moments of prayer.  You begin to suspect that to pray is to live.”

This bit of poetry by Herrick reminds me that our work can be, should be  hallowed … 

For those my unbaptized rhymes, 
Writ in my wild unhallowed times, 
For every sentence, clause, and word, 
That’s not inlaid with Thee, my Lord, 
Forgive me, God, and blot each line 
Out of my book, that is not Thine. 
But if, ‘mongst all, Thou find’st here one 
Worthy thy benediction, 
That one of all the rest shall be 
The glory of my work, and me. 

May my work be hallowed … with prayer … continually and without ceasing … proactively … a spontaneous reaction!

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