Is it to ask for guidance or wisdom, perhaps even a blessing or health for yourself or another? What is the practice of your prayer, daily, hourly, monthly, or as needed? What do you feel when you pray?
Intentionality in prayer is the topic for this week's study "Prayer in a Noisy World." When we think about prayer, there is a duality in its practice. On the one hand, prayer is heartfelt, it is a desire that we come to with God, yearning and seeking connection. On the other hand, prayer is a discipline, a habit that we do because we know it is an important practice of our spiritual lives.
Prayer is like any relationship, sometimes you have great conversations, and other times you get together with a friend or even a spouse, and the conversation is more about the habit of staying in touch with each other. Not every conversation is filled with lightning bolts and major insights. Sometimes conversations are really just to stay connected.
I have some friends from college who I have dinner with once a month. It is an opportunity I look forward to because it is when we catch up, share a few laughs and sometimes a few tears as well. Often it is difficult for all 5 of us to coordinate our calendars, so from texting to doodling to emailing back and forth we find a way through our intentionality to make it work. We are so determined because we know if we let a month go by, and fall out of the expectancy of seeing each other, it will be another month, and another month, and another month. All of our calendars fill up quickly, but we know each other is important and it is really the only time we get to connect.
Intentionality in our prayer life is important too. Of course, needing to make time in our schedule regularly as priority is hard, but essential. Our intentionality in showing up to connect with God on a regular basis reveals what we believe about God as well: that God will show up too. It may not always be a lightning bolt revelation, it might just be a check in or a quiet moment. But our showing up for God is important because we know God is there waiting for us.
This week in worship, we will read the passage from John 4, the woman at the well. She had no idea who was speaking to her, but Jesus knew all about her. Jesus has intentionality in seeking her out, a Samaritan woman, despised by the Jews. And yet, he knew all about her, loved her in the midst of what she was going through and showed her how to have faith.
This week, I encourage you to pray, expecting God to show up and know who you are, love you in the midst of what you are going through, and show you how to have faith. It may take a lot of conversations together, but if we are intentional about making time for God, we will find God is there.
Blessings in your Lenten journey,