Grace and Peace to you.
I love watching Olympic athletes do the amazing things they do. (I’m glad they’re doing it so we don’t have to.) It’s inspiring to see someone do something they’re really good at. But prayer is different. There’s no such thing as being “good it it.” There’s just doing it. Just being there with God. God doesn’t need us to be “good” at it. God just wants us to be there.
When we pray our minds wander, we have selfish thoughts, we fall asleep. And then we return. That’s all right; it’s all a part of prayer. It is true that some aspects of prayer become easier with practice, and over time our prayer takes us deeper and deeper. It is true that a life of disciplined prayer has a different quality than a life of haphazard inattentiveness to the sacred. But when we’re praying, there’s nothing to be “good at.” We’re just there paying attention.
Maybe the best model for our prayer lives at the Olympics is not the ice dancers who have such artistic grace, or the skiers and snowboarders who have such ridiculous midair courage, or the speed skaters with such power, but the audience. In prayer we just sit and watch God be graceful and powerful and wholly present in us and in the world, and we are in awe. And for God, that’s perfect.
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