And finally, in that quietness came clarity. There came a clarity that I did not have at that time or that I had experienced before. There was beauty. There was love. There was purpose. My theology and spirituality became formed through the action of prayer. An understanding of my work, my vocational work began to form. Out of this moment of prayer came the sense of purpose for me and the whole church. Out of this moment of prayer came the inklings of my life that could be lived out in the assurances of God's grace and love.
Through that prayer work, a number of truth statements became truly a part of my own belief system in a deeper, clearer, more personal way than I had ever known possible.
- I understood God's love for me through Jesus Christ, and that there was nothing in heaven or under heaven, of powers or authorities that would or could separate me from God's love.
- There was no challenge too great that could not be seen through to its end because of God's love.
- There was no pain too deep that could not be healed by the grace of God's love.
- There was nothing that could keep God's hope from raising my head and eyes to see the path of Jesus Christ's kingdom before me. All I had to do was take that step back onto the path, back onto the way that lay before me.
It was then, as I rose and walked to the door of the sanctuary, turned out the lights, and walked out into the night that I took my first steps again. Every step would be bathed and supported and buoyed by the prayer of a humbled, grateful, and delivered heart.
The Rev. Dr. Leonel L. Mitchell wrote a commentary on the Book of Common Prayer with an intriguing title: Praying Shapes Believing. I believe that praying does shape believing. Out of this certainty that I have about prayer and belief arise two other thoughts and they are: Prayer is work, and work originates from prayer. These are the themes that I want to play with, hold up, turn in our hearts and minds, and to which I wish to give some intentional thought in the next posts.
Coming up: A Survey of Scriptural Posts tagged #Prayer and #Jesus