#AWOP reflections: conclusion

AWOPall

This week of prayer wasn’t easy for me, I confess. The first few days went well. Then it went fine. The last two have just been okay. I struggled to nail down my squirming thoughts into coherent sentences, never mind meaningful prayers. It started to feel very rote; a thing of duty and not of wonder. Was God listening? Because I sure wasn’t.

The three d’s were definitely there and I struggled to resist them, and at least part of the reason was because I didn’t really want to. And isn’t that always the thing? Donald Miller wrote in Blue Like Jazz that he spends a lot of his time sitting around feeling stupid. I do the same, but I feel fickle rather than stupid. Prayer is awesome, God is awesome. I literally have the Creator of the universe’s ear, but I would rather stalk the #setlock tag on Twitter and worry that Sherlock and John will not have their happy ending.[1] (In addition to fickleness, I am incredibly silly.)

The thing I have discovered, in this week of discoveries, is that I don’t always want the mountain to move. I find that I am comfortable and – let’s call a spade a spade – complacent with it being right where it is, thanks. Praying for it to move – faith, as a whole – takes commitment. It means investing without the prospect of immediate or even identifiable return. It is, quite frankly, hard work.

(I will never understand why so many non-religious people accuse theists of taking the easy way out. Like, have you even tried it? God above!)

Praying for mountains to move requires, at the very least, that we give a damn. We live in a world where we spend our two cents’ very freely, but anything more than that costs too much. When we pray for mountains to move, the stakes get very high. The possibility of involvement looms: other people’s problems becoming yours. God expects that, I’ve found, and it makes me irate because I have my hands full avoiding my own issues.

But that’s not how it works, of course. Prayer is never thrifty. Prayer is involvement. Prayer is giving a damn. Prayer is faith. Prayer is hard work. Prayer is not just the doing but the going, too. It’s how the world is changed; it’s how we are changed.

Perhaps then it’s not so surprising that I sometimes struggle with prayer. Perhaps the point is that I sometimes struggle with prayer. A seed must fight its way out of the dirt if it is to sprout, and it’s from that process that harvests are yielded.

Prayer inspiration: 

To Thee, O Lord, we cry and pray: bless this sprouting seed, strengthen it in the gentle movement of soft winds, refresh it with the dew of heaven, and let it grow to full maturity for the good of body and soul. (Source.)


Thank you for joining me for this week of prayer! I hope that some of your mountains now find themselves at the bottom of the ocean, or that you at least understand them better. Of course any week can and should be a week of prayer, and my mountain-moving prayer is that you and I will both have the common sense to remember that!


[1] Also, Johnlock forever.

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One thought on “#AWOP reflections: conclusion

  1. “Praying for it to move – faith, as a whole – takes commitment. It means investing without the prospect of immediate or even identifiable return. It is, quite frankly, hard work.” What a powerful statement!

    And there are some mountains that cannot be moved this side of eternity. That’s when faithful prayer becomes even more of a struggle. My son is dead (physically) and my prayers won’t change that. So if I pray on, and hope to have an answer, it certainly won’t be immediate. Thank you for this encouraging word.

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