Monday, January 3, 2011

Bucket List Practice # 3 - Praying

Throughout the month of January I am creating a Bucket List in which I will suggest one New Year’s Practice each day that will give you a taste of living an integrated life for 2011.  (By integrated, I mean one in which your faith, your character, your relationships, your responsibilities--all elements of your life--are in agreement.)  Each one is meant to be exercised in one day. Please feel free to share about your experience in the comments section below.  We will move through four different themes of living an integrated life.  The first week January we'll explore practices related to our relationship with God.

Today's practice is prayer. Prayer is just having conversation with God. It really is that simple; there are no magic words or special occassions. But once we let that thought of "talking with God" sink in, the profound weight of it can be intimidating. It's kind of like the double-take feeling I had when I found out I was going to be a dad. "We're having a baby!  Wait...we're having a baby!!" So, yes, the immensity of prayer can leave us speechless. Yet, I like how N.T. Wright describes prayer in his Simply Christian,

Pulling the Rope of Life
Andrius Kovelinas

We are called to live at the overlap both of heaven and earth--the earth that has yet to be fully redeemed as one day it will be--and of God's future and this world's present. We are caught on a small island near the point where these tectonic plates--heaven and earth, future and present--are scrunching themselves together. . . . Christian prayer is about standing at the fault line . . . holding heaven and earth together like someone trying to tie two pieces of rope with people tugging at the other ends to pull them apart.

Prayer gives us the opportunity to cause earthquakes of positive change in the world around us just by having a simple conversation with God.

So today, pray the the Lord's prayer. It's a basic prayer that many of us grew up reciting. I have provided a different translation in order to help you walk through each line with fresh attentiveness.

   For yours is the kingdom, and the power,
      and the glory forever.

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