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02 June 2011

Learning to Pray All Over Again


I am living in community in arguably the holiest city on earth and I am thinking about prayer. Every time the adhan, the call to prayer, at one of the neighboring mosques rings out, I think, I should pray the Offices every time salat is prayed. Yet I somehow lack the discipline or something. Those of you who know me in my everyday identity may well be scratching your heads. I didn't get all of these degrees or publish all this work without discipline. There must be something else at work here.
I have been journeying in prayer with a wonderful spiritual director this year. Unfortunately she doesn't travel with me. She has blessed me to see my own practice of prayer as longstanding. To name it and nurture it. I'm an all-day, in everything, praying person. I meditate and contemplate while I walk. I like to pray in my own words, thoughts, and images when I'm alone. I love the liturgies of the church when I'm in communion. I have a scripture-mantra that I breathe when I formally meditate.
Yet part of me thinks I should be doing something special - more special.
I have asked Jesus to teach me how to pray.
Now I just have to accept that my prayer practices are his answer and God's good gift to me, and know that there's a reason God did not call me to a monastic community.

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