A dear friend says, “Prayer is hard work.”
I tend to agree. Prayer might be simple, but it is not easy. Yet her assertion gives me pause.
Prayer is a relationship and it is not all down to you. God plays the leading part: God prays in you.
Your part involves:
- desire: for God;
- disposition: being open-handed and open-hearted;
- commitment: turning up, day in, day out; perseverance;
- right living, ethical living: not that you must be perfect, for ethical living is impossible, but it is an aspiration;
- Examen: willingness to reflect on God in your life.
Your part is difficult enough. It is not also your task to ‘get closer’ to God. You open, but God makes the moves.
So, in one way prayer is hard work. In another way it is no work at all.
You work hard to clear the decks. God’s presence is a given.