“The best preparation for a life of prayer is to become more intensely human.” – Kenneth Leech
Over the past month and a half our staff meetings at Christ the King have begun with a conversation about prayer. Together we have explored different approaches to prayer and how our lives can be enriched through this variety. In the course of this I rediscovered the quote above, and I found myself both intrigued and challenged. On the one hand, the clear intent of the quote is to point us towards God through a life of prayer. On the other, becoming more “human” challenges the prevailing thoughts about what it takes to become more spiritual. Rather than separating life into a human and a spiritual realm, Fr. Leech sends the two on a collision course by suggesting that prayer is grounded in the very essence of our human nature.
What I think he’s getting at is that a “life of prayer” for Christians is not about any particular style, how many times we pray in a given day or even that we pray at set times. Prayer is about being aware of the presence of God in whatever situation we find ourselves at. Professor and priest Barbara Brown Taylor puts it another way, “When I am fully alert to whatever or whoever is right in front of me; when I am electrically aware of the tremendous gift of being alive; when I am able to give myself wholly to the moment I am in, then I am in prayer. Prayer is happening, and it is not necessarily something that I am doing. God is happening, and I am lucky enough to know that I am in The Midst.”
As we continue on through the season of Easter ideas and images will be all around us. Jesus will be proclaimed our Good Shepherd, visions of a new heaven and a new earth will be shared and Christ’s promise of peace will be made known. It is my hope that as individuals and as a congregation we will be alert to God’s presence all around us. And in doing so that our collective prayers will lead us into a life of prayer that is more than something we “do”, but truly reflective of who we are-a resurrected people empowered to Glorify God, Spread the Word and Love One Another!
 Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World. New York: Harper One, 2009. Page 178.
A Life of Prayer ctk1125web