Midweek Muse: Prayed Up
A few years ago, I started meeting with a Spiritual Director by phone. At the time, the church I served was in crisis, and I was trying to navigate my role there without becoming consumed by it. I shared this with Claire, and gave her an extensive sketch of what was happening in my life and at the church I loved. I suppose there was a part of me that wanted her to say: poor baby, you’re the victim here. But she never did. While she validated my stress and the pressure I was under, the first poignant question I remember her asking was this: How often are you praying? Her point was not to add insult to injury, but instead, to highlight the fact that when situations get tough, people often stop praying. That singular, powerful question has left a lasting impression. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I have found a way to keep praying even – especially – when things beyond my control. In fact, I even carved out a little corner of my house for prayer -in my attic.
Our attic isn’t the most useful space in our house. It’s an attic, so the insulation is limited. It’s a walk out style, so you can only access it if you walk through our bedroom. As a result of these realities, over the five plus years we’ve lived here, it had become a storage facility. But last fall, I was determined. I loaded up our ’96 Suburban with all of the baby things and donated them to a ministry that could use them. I swept, I vacuumed, I rearranged and voila: a storage facility became a prayer loft.
Prayer can happen anywhere. You don’t need a loft or the direction of a spiritual professional. But there is one thing it does require: you! That question a handful of years ago made me realize I wasn’t prioritizing something very important to my faithful path. Now, to borrow another phrase from Claire, I try to be “prayed up” for what lies ahead. Keeping a prayer practice -whatever it might be – is an opportunity not only to embrace the unknown but also to give thanks for all that we have.
That is my most recent journey with prayer. How about you, reader? How do you stay “prayed up” ?
Thanks for Reading…