prayer as persistence

A weekly Rector’s Notes articles, October 21, 2019

Part of my sermon yesterday I touched on this concept of prayer as a form of persistence, and I want to expand upon that idea today.

On the Episcopal Church website for the Way of Love resources, pray is defined:

Dwell intentionally with God each day.

Jesus teaches us to come before God with humble hearts, boldly offering our thanksgivings and concerns to God or simply listening for God’s voice in our lives and in the world. Whether in thought, word or deed, individually or corporately, when we pray we invite and dwell in God’s loving presence.

I love the imagery that comes out of this line: dwell intentionally with God, and the call to do it each day.

This is why prayer and persistence go hand in hand. Prayer is not something that we should use only as a tool for when we feel lost, facing a challenge, drained, or needing God’s intervention, prayer is a daily thing that we need to practice because prayer allows us to sit with God, to live with God in an intentional and deliberate manner.

This intentional and deliberate persistence to be in connection with God creates an opportunity for us to be continually shaped and formed by God’s presence in our daily lives. When God is present in our daily life, we allow God to work through us, creating within us the opportunity to be the best version of who we are in this creation.

This is why our First Sunday formation programming is focusing on prayer this year, because it is important, because it is foundational, because it is formative, because we can always use prayer and we can always use opportunities to learn how to pray, how to engage in prayer more regularly, how to connect to God in both new and old ways.

When we are persistent in our practice of prayer, our very being is changed because we are taking an active role in our spiritual well being and claiming that immediate access to God that is promised in our scriptures, promised through Christ.

Stewardship then is not to be undertaken without serious prayer. As prayer transforms and redefines us, it also informs us how and why we practice stewardship. Through our prayer, we engage in a conversation with God about how we are called to be care takers of this creation and of this church, and it is thorugh our commitment to stewardship that we answer the call we receive through our prayer.

Be persistent, Paul tells us from the lesson yesterday, and in being persistent, know that God hears you, God responds to you, God knows you, and together with God you know yourself and how you are called to walk in the way of love.

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