Praying Deeper

It is officially May, and I have been in a state of isolation for over a month due to the pandemic. In the past week, I have undergone several mental struggles. I’ve become frustrated with my lack of motivation. I have all the time in the world, but cannot get anything done. Each passing day I seem to waste more time. A little voice in my head keeps saying, “Make the most of this time; you’ll miss it when you don’t have it.” My mind actively sought to accomplish everything I “should” be doing. I should be volunteering, walking outside, reading more books, even writing a book! These thoughts left me with more anxiety–my to-do list was increasing, but I was unable to complete anything on the list. The anxiety came from my belief that I was letting the Lord down. He gave me this gift of time, a time I truly wanted to give back to Him and devote to Him, but I was squandering it by twiddling my fingers and wandering aimlessly from one random thought to another.

I was reaching my limit; my frustrations were mounting uncontrollably, when I tuned into a talk led by a Franciscan friar. He echoed many of the same feelings I experienced, saying this was a time to draw closer to God; however, this friar had a different perspective of what this call really meant. I was looking for ways to draw closer to God through man made means: seminars, books, live-streamed Masses, and specific prayers. The friar’s way of drawing closer to God was much simpler–it was to go deeper into prayer. So many times I have focused on the specific prayers I should say daily–like the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. These prayers are wonderful, but I become so fixated on saying them that I forget to actually allow for transformation to take place. The friar pointed out that there is a deeper form of prayer we can achieve. He illustrated this idea of our hearts on top of a mountain, and on this mountain, we can weather the storms around us. This is where we can encounter Jesus Christ. It is so easy to let our emotions and thoughts define who we are, but we are deeper than that definition. The chaos created by our emotions and thoughts causes the storms surrounding us. By going further into prayer, we can overcome these storms and find ourselves on top of the mountain where we can be with Christ and only Christ. Then we can discover what He is truly saying to us.

I eagerly tried this new method of prayer because I wouldn’t feel limited by everything I was “supposed” to do or say, all I really had to do was draw closer to the Lord. It worked! For five minutes, I felt as though I had accomplished more than in the past month of quarantine. Within those five minutes, I did not try to pray for anything. I had no pre-arranged agendas; I simply allowed myself to be with Christ. I was finally at peace with this unique time in my life. God is asking me for a deeper prayer life with Him, but this does not require any heroic effort–all I need to do is to be with Him.

4 thoughts on “Praying Deeper

  1. Seven years ago, I chose a reading from the prophet Isaiah for my mother’s memorial service. It began “on this holy mountain.” The passage described how wonderful it would be on that mountain–juicy rich food, choice wine, no more weeping, etc. Hearing what the friar advised regarding prayer as a means of drawing closer to God seemed so appropriate. We need not wait until our death to experience being on “the mountain of the Lord”–we can take the time we now have to focus through our prayers on spending at least 5 minutes there with Him. Thank you for suggesting a new method to follow and a new image to hold in our hearts when we pray.

    Like

  2. What you wrote brought these words of Jesus to mind. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 Yup, I think you wrote down the sum of what He wants; to gather us all up each morning and then spend the day with us: talking with us, feeding us, and filling us with the certainty that we are safe. And, He wants to keep doing that each day for all eternity.

    Like

  3. Very good post! You know God does give us “time” for everything in our lives. The ‘balance” of that time is where we fail at. No one ever taught that to better than St. Benedict in his “Rule.” To me not an actual quote but, “the pendulum has got to swing in the middle.” With that we will have a balanced life in everything we do. It cannot swing too far to the left nor the right. There are times just being with God in silence can make that pendulum stay so still in the middle. Great post and God bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your insight. Yes, finding the balance is easier said then done. But in those beautiful moments when we discover that silence with the Lord it is a truly divine experience.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s