Prayer is a call to be with God, to be in relationship with our Creator, to speak from the centre of our very being a heartfelt need to be rescued from the troubles of our own minds and the troubles of the day. We sin, and we are sinned against.
Jesus asks that we don’t pile up loads of words and reassures us that the Father knows our needs before they have reached our lips. Elsewhere he commends us to ask saying we don’t have because we don’t ask.
Maybe walking with God our companion is prayer that asks, maybe the walk is the prayer. Put simply prayer time is different, it is what comes before the conversation; the meditation, the seeking after the rule of God needs few words. There is a sitting, a standing and then a walking. It is in the walking we ask, having sat quietly with our maker.
Simeon was guided by the Spirit and Anna spent time fasting, worshipping and praying at the temple day and night. The baby Jesus was their reward; small and yet not insignificant.
I think in my busy world I know a lot and read a lot about prayer. I have all sorts of theories, but the reality is that in all, I am sadly seeking a practice rather than presence. The cry from the heart that says to the Father I need your help, come and rescue me is the simple call you need as one on their knees, maybe all the words needed, so that in the conversation with my Father that becomes my life, pools of water appear in the arid places, springs of refreshing, healing and sustenance.
In all the pomp and pride of our meetings, words and theories, we may not notice the birds nesting in the Holy of Holies. Not sure if I even want to be a doorkeeper, the sparrows seem to have found the best place and the swallow comes and goes as she pleases!
PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
Year C, Revised Common Lectionary
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! …
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
…O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.
… he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
…Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; …There was also a prophet, Anna …She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day
We meet at the chapel on a Wednesday evening at 8pm until 8-40pm for a period of prayer including 20 minutes silent prayer.