A Lenten Prayer Meditation
In our Lenten journey this year we invite you to see God in the ordinary experiences of your life. In his book on prayer, Richard Foster says: "We pray the ordinary primarily in three ways: first, by turning ordinary experiences of life into prayer, second, by seeing God in the ordinary experiences of life; and third, by praying throughout the ordinary experiences of life." When we continually seek to be extraordinary, whether in ourselves, in others, or in our pursuits, we find that we miss the gift of the commonplace - the ordinary moments and places of grace. Praying the "ordinary" will be a constant thread of our prayers this Lent.
Prayer Exercise for Sunday, February 22 - Saturday, February 28
It may be difficult for us to pray for ourselves. However that is our prayer journey this week. This does not mean you cannot pray for others or the cares and worries of our world, but our focus is to examine where we have needs in the very ordinariness of our lives.
Why are we uncomfortable in praying for ourselves? Some think that praying for yourself is selfish. On the contrary, prayers of petition can be very humbling. How difficult have you found it to say, “Please, I need help. I can’t do this on my own” Petitionary prayer renews and expresses our dependence upon God. Further, bringing our petitions to God reminds us that what matters to us matters to God. Even though God already knows our needs, the reality is that we need to speak them - to humbly take our needs to Him.
Make a list, of not more than 10, of your own needs. What concerns you? Have you felt overwhelmed by work? Or are you in need of work? Are you angry about a particular situation? Do you have “no space” or time to relax? This is the nitty gritty of life. God is concerned with the details, with what we consider trivial. As one person wrote on a blog entitled “Mundane Faithfulness," "What's your hard [thing]? Are you waiting to have it together before taking it to God? He's okay with our mess. He'll take us while we're still in it, while we're still nursing our doubts and fears. If you're waiting to have it all together . . . you don't need to wait any longer."
For three or four days this week, for about 15 minutes each day, pray in this manner:
First, begin by reading Psalm 25:1-10 each day.
Second, speak (or sing) words of worship and praise.
Third, confess your sins.
Fourth, pray your list of needs. Bring your list to God each day and pray before God’s altar of grace.
Finally, end with thanksgiving.
If you are interested in either sharing your petitions with someone, or sharing how you experienced the prayer exercise this week, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org