Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is always a joy to write my journal with your image in the back of my mind. This is what the Lord has blessed me – giving you as a part in my life. And when I pray to God everyday, I am reminded that a community of faith is always there for me.
Prayer is everywhere and always answering speech. It is never initiating speech, and to suppose that is presumptuous. Miqra, the Hebrew word for Bible, properly means “calling out” – the calling out of God to us. “God must become a person,” but in order for us to speak in answer to him he must make us into persons. We become ourselves as we answer, sometimes angrily disputing with him about how he rules the world, sometimes humbling ourselves before him in grateful trust. Prayer is language used to respond to the most that has been said to us, with the potential for saying all that is in us. Prayer is the development of speech into maturity, the language that is adequate to answering the one who has spoken comprehensively to us.
Prayer is not a narrow use of language for speciality occasions, but language catholic, embracing the totality of everything and everyone everywhere. This conversation is both bold and devout – the utterly inferior responding to the utterly superior. In this exchange we become persons. The entire life of faith is dialogue. By means of the Psalms we find our voice in the dialogue. In prayer we do not merely speak our feelings, we speak our answers. We can answer, we are permitted to answer. If we truly answer God there is nothing that we may not say to him.
Isn’t it a beautiful way to describe “prayer”? You may think prayer is your initiation to talk to God about you and your environment as though he is not aware of what is going on. He is always here and there. He does not only know what is going on around the world. In fact, He engineers or orchestrates the whole universe to work so that you and I can live and think. Prayer is not asking the Creator God for what we think and want. Prayer is a response or answer to what God is asking us about life and our world.
It was God who called out to Adam, “where are you?” And Adam did his contemplative prayer, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Our prayer should be a “naked” response to God’s initiation through His Word and the environment that we are in. It is not by coincidence that we are where we are at this stage of life. It is by His providence to live and walk where we are. It is not by coincidence that our God calls out to us through our reading of His Word. Are we too wrapped up in our “fear, worry and self-centeredness” that we careless to respond to God in prayer. Are you hiding behind your busyness that you don’t care to answer His call? It is time to respond to your loving God in prayer.
What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation – a toast to GOD! I’ll pray in the name of GOD; I’ll complete what I promised GOD I’d do. And I’ll do it together with his people. (Psalm 116:12-14)
Love you as a response to His call,