Off Track in Prayer? Join the Crowd!

candle and bibleBy Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

“Prayer … is a practice of attention, of attentiveness, an attitude of receptiveness to God’s sustaining presences.” Martin Poulsom, SDB

Reading a paper by Poulsom yesterday made me ask myself how I am coming to prayer. Am I paying attention? Am I coming to pray with an open heart, mind and soul?

I admit sometimes I’m off track. My own worries and distractions can undermine my attentiveness and receptiveness.

If I’ve had a bad day at work or a disagreement with a community member, I can be unfocused at prayers. If my students are struggling or I’m worried about the health of a family member, it’s hard to concentrate. And if I don’t want to listen to what I’m being asked to do, forget it!

When we follow St. Paul’s advice to “pray without ceasing,” we make all things into prayer: our worries, our distractions, even our resistance.

We invite God to be a constant presence in everything we are and do … even though we’re not perfect. Because, as Poulsom says, “At all times and in all places we are called to listen for the voice of God who invites us to make a better future for our world.”

If you think you are being called to religious life, contact me. I’m sure not perfect … but I have a willing heart and plenty of information and insights to share! 🙂

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