"A primary purpose of prayer is to impress on us the personality and character of Christ. We want to become like Jesus, so the life that we live is no longer ours but Christ living in us and through us.
Prayer is less about trying to get God to do something we want God to do and more about getting ourselves to do what God wants us to do and to become who God wants us to become. There are times when we speak, weep, groan, and shout at God. But there are also times when we simply sit in silence and are held by our Beloved. We remember the character of God, the fruit of the Spirit, and the incarnation of Jesus as he reveals to us what God is like with flesh on. And we pray that God's character will become our character. The monks have been known to say, "If your speaking doesn't add something beautiful to the silence, don't speak." For many of us in the high-paced, cluttered world of materialism and noise, silence is a way we can free up the space to listen to God.In most of our lives, silence gets interrupted pretty quickly. Whether it's a knock at the door, a cry from the nursery, or thoughts in our own heads, something almost always breaks the silence we long for in contemplative prayer. It is tempting to give up-to say that silence is not possible in our contect or "I'm not cut out for this." But the wisom of those who've gone before us is helpful here. Teresa of Avila, who was distracted by her own thoughts in prayer, said she learned not to fight them but to let them come and go like waves in the sea, trusting that God was an anchor who could hold her through any storm.Contemplation is about tending to the lines that anchor us in Christ. For Francis of Assisi, the San Daminano cross was one of those lines, serving as an icon to focus his prayer on Christ's love. it was in hours of prayer before this cross that he heard Jesus say, "Rebuild my church, which is in ruins," then he got up to start the most radical renewal movement of the Middle Ages.
Activisism that matters to the kingdom is always rooted in prayer. If we want to join God in changing the world, the place to begin is on our knees before the cross.~ Shane Claiborne, Common Prayer: Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals,p. 424-425
Thank you for guiding us safely through a new day. We love you, honor you and praise you. With all our hearts we seek the peace that only you can provide, the peace that surpasses all understanding and permeates our souls when we reach to you in trust and devotion finding you in the present moment centered in silence. We ask that your Spirit guide us in revealing new ways to experience your love in deeper dimensions and reveal to the eyes of our hearts truths and insights. Help us to shed illusions and attachments that bind us to this world instead of you. Help us shed our old selves and live in our new identity in Christ. May we bring you all glory and honor.
In Jesus' name,