A few thoughts on Courage to Pray

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Just a few quick thoughts about the excerpt I posted from Courage to Pray. I like that passage so much that I really think it deserves to stand on its own, allowing you to have your own reaction separate from my muddled thoughts. But muddled or no, I decided to blog for a reason, so here goes.

Stillness is probably one of the hardest things in the world for me to achieve, both inside and out. A counselor I worked with taught me to take breaks to settle my thoughts and heart rate- breathe in for four seconds, out for six. Repeat for one minute. Then sit, quietly, clutching my hands, for one minute. The act of slowing down, breathing, focusing is horribly difficult when I’d much rather be puttering around my room, changing my clothes for the third time before work, allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the onslaught of daily tasks. I believe this is actually a temptation. When I become so flustered that I cannot keep silence, there is no space for trust, no space for faith, no space for God, only the surge of my egotism rising. I must fix everything. I must control everything. I am the only one who can do this.

Lies. Taking space, reflecting, breathing– these induce clarity. How much more clarity do we bring that silence into prayer? When we stop fighting, give into His love, allow Him to take control, even for two minutes?

I really should go home and make dinner. This may be a distraction too, but it is also true. I’ll leave you with one of my other favorite quotes from Courage to Pray:

When we know someone is there, keeping silence is listening.

Courage to Pray, Met. Anthony Bloom & Georges LeFabvre, pg.87

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