Prayer is the breath of life for our soul. As we exhale, we share our joys, concerns, and other thoughts with God, and as we inhale we receive God’s grace, goodness and wisdom.
I am passionate about prayer, maybe because I understand the physical implications of not having enough oxygen. At birth, the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and for a minute or two I didn’t receive any oxygen, which damaged part of my brain and resulted in my having cerebral palsy. However, I think that the lack of oxygen has far more detrimental and emotional consequences to the soul.
There are so many atrocities happening in the world that it can be rather scary and very discouraging, overwhelming at times. But there’s something more alarming to me. I am mystified by the lack of prayerful response from the Christian community. It’s like we have fallen into helplessness and complacency or perhaps we are ashamed to demonstrate our passion for Christ.
We keep wondering what we can do, how we can feed the hungry, fight against injustice, advocate for others in need, yet as Christians we keep putting prayer on the back burner. It seems to be more acceptable to dwell on what we ought to do to solve the problems of this world rather then to pray. If we lose ourselves in “saving the world,” we disconnect from prayer, which is so essential to our wellbeing and to the goodness that we need to access in order to serve humanity. Prayer can give us the oxygen we need to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.
I am pretty good at breathing out but sometimes I forget to inhale, especially when I’m preoccupied or concentrating. The same applies to prayer. There are times when I feel negative in some way or I feel distant from God. It’s not that God is not present. God is always there, but I can forget to take the time to be still and to breathe in. Happily, with God, it is never too late to inhale.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”