What is prayer? (A few thoughts)

What is prayer? The past few days, I’ve been chewing on this–or it has been chewing on me. I spent time writing this morning, to share a few thoughts, for what it’s worth, after reading a bit of Abhishiktananda’s work on Prayer, a gift from my friend Jason Voyles.

Before we talk about poverty and hunger, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about church decline and attendance, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about leadership development or skills, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about social justice, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about human rights, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about administration and organization plans, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about capital campaigns or any endeavor, we must talk about prayer.
Before we talk about care of God’s creation, we must talk about prayer.
And, before we talk about prayer, we must pray.
Only in a spirit of prayer and awareness of God’s grace can our hearts be open and rightly oriented toward embodying Christ’s love in our world. Prayer is the key.

A quote from Abhishiktananda (Henri la Saux), from Prayer:

The life of prayer and contemplation is simply to realize God’s presence in the depth of our being, in the depth of every being, and at the same time beyond all beings, beyond all that is within and all that is without. It is certainly not a way of life that is reserved for those few individuals who are specially called to escape from the world and take refuge in a desert. Contemplation and prayer are the very breath of life, not only for the true disciple of Jesus, but for everyone who has recognized his calling to be human. (Prayer, 5).

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