16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, (NRSV)
To pray always, without ceasing, seems like an impossible task. Seeing God in every thing, every action we do, every moment of our lives opens doors of our hearts, and the Spirit of God moves in. We don’t become Pollyanna’s seeing only the good in people. We see the suffering and trials of those around us and in seeing God in their faces we open our hearts and let God’s compassion move us to be the arms and legs, the body, of the Holy Spirit. We are motivated to give the solace, love, support to those who are in need just as Jesus did on the streets and fields of Judea.
The suffering of our communities, nation and world overwhelms, frightens us and as the troubles increase exponentially we ask does prayer really do any good. Offering a prayer for someone walking in the dark places of life, does let them know they aren’t alone, that someone, somewhere is keeping them in their hearts. But even more important is the prayer that motivates us to be the Christ on the street, to offer food, and help find shelter. To care for the sick and injured in even small ways that often are not seen in the mad rush to send massive aid. In fact many times it is the small things we do that mean the most to the recipients. Each act is an act of prayer, it is an offering, it is remembering to feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit the incarcerated, and give mercy to the stranger, which all God and Jesus asked us to do.
What does prayer do for us who offer the prayers, perform the actions of prayer? Well prayer draws us r into the arms of God. Prayer opens our hearts to the love God and our ears to the words of God calling us to be the Beings we are meant to be. Below is a lovely video by Lisa Maria Cameron (www.whisperingstars.com ©2007)
As you listen to song and watch the pictures pass before you. Let your hearts turn to prayer, where ever you are, you don’t even have stop what you are doing and offer a prayer for what lies closest in heart. Listen; listen carefully in a moment of silence, and throughout your day, for words of encouragement from God. Look into the faces of each person you meet and see the face of God. Each of you, all of you, no matter what you do, or have done, is beloved by God. Let your eyes be opened to love that shines in the eyes of each other, and ears be opened to the voice of God in the voice of the next person you meet.
May the peace of God be with you, now and forever more.
Ruth Jewell, ©October 20, 2014