May 1, 2012 was the first day of a month marked by 1-hour prayer times. The May Days posts are some of the impressions of those quiet prayers.
The first impressions that bubble up in sustained prayer — after you cut through all the preparatory praise words – are our own little sadnesses, losses, mistakes and irritations. Maybe that’s embarrassing to say, but it’s true. You don’t notice this when you pray aloud for those few minutes on your way to work, or reading your way through a psalm. Time is tight, your mind screams. You have some things you need to tell God, so just get it out there and get on with it,
But sit for more than 15 or so minutes and you begin to realize how defined your prayer life is by your own limited experiences; bound by the places and people and situations that concern just you.
As a beginning, this is as it should be. Our lives are the meeting place for the divine. Our encounters are the intersection of spirit and flesh. But that’s only the beginning. Life with God is not only about the awareness of God entering our lives, but also awakening to the reality that we enter into God’s life as well.
Wasn’t this the mystery Jesus was expressing, “As you Father are in me, and I am in you, may they also be in us”?
At least part of what I’m learning in sustained prayer is that my life is a portal, it’s my particular doorway by which I enter into the enormous arena marked “God’s Life”.
Always I have the choice. To say in the narrow portal looking at the sunlight from the open door or to breathe deeply, square my shoulders and cross the threshold.
Now that’s an image that can stay with you.