Monday, March 23, 2015

I Woke Up Today Praying (PrayerLife)

Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan
It is now common for me to wake up praying and retire to bed at night praying. How did this happen to me? It is, I feel certain, the end result of a life of disciplined praying.

This life began in 1977 when I forced myself to get away to a lonely place and pray, a half hour a day. I chose to pray, which means I acted on it. I prayed.

The choice to pray and stay with it has morphed into DNA-praying. The choice to pray has become praying. If there is a choice now it would be to choose not to pray. This would be hard to do, since I am someone who cannot not-pray. I am a praying person, which means I am a person who would find it hard to not pray.

Henri Nouwen writes: "Discipline means that something very specific and concrete needs to be done to create the context in which a life of uninterrupted prayer can develop." (Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, 91)

A long time ago I chose to pray for a half hour a day. I chose to do my praying in the piano room of our house in East Lansing. I chose to accompany my praying times with Scripture meditation. I chose to keep a spiritual journal and write down what God was saying to me and doing in me. I began to experience God meeting with me, speaking to me, strengthening me, guiding me, healing me. A life of uninterrupted praying began to develop. And I woke up today praying.