Okay, I admit it, this title is terribly tongue-in-cheek. I don’t actually think we can bore God, though I think our prayers can take on a blandness that could bore me to tears if I were God (thankfully I am not God and we don’t need to worry about this).
(For the full audio version of this sermon, click here.)
This week we read the scripture about Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray. Now, that is all well and good, but I wish he’d taught them how to make all of life a prayer instead of giving them something that has become the epitome of Christian rote prayer. It’s easy to say the same thing over and over again. It’s safe to believe that we’ve got the right words because, well, they came from Jesus. But there is so much more.
Matthew Fox says that the stuff of prayer is life itself. Every moment, every experience, no matter how exciting, emotional or mundane is a potential time for prayer. How? It is simple, yet not easy. Awareness of the Divine. That is all it takes for any moment to be sacred and a prayer. For example, I took my kids camping to the Rocky Mountains two weeks ago. After a few hikes it became obvious to me that at least one of them was hiking to get it over with. They wanted to get to the end of the trail, see what there was to see and move on. Not that they didn’t appreciate the beauty at all, but they didn’t really want to take the time to soak it in. I wanted to take the time to feel the energy of the mountain, the stream and the trees, to recognize the sacred presence in that place and to drink it in. I wanted my hike to be a prayer.
Coloring your life with prayer simply means recognizing as many moments as possible as sacred moments. The Divine is present at all times, but we don’t bring that to our consciousness nearly enough. And that is all it takes for a connection with the Ground of our Being. We can bring prayer to our work, our conversations, our chores, our errands, our love-making, our meals simply by our awareness that God is present in us, in all those around us, in the earth, in the air we breathe, everywhere.