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Praying Already?

Sometimes what is most helpful in praying, is not the acquiring of some new method, as much as the affirming of what is already being done, but has not been recognized and named as prayer. Many spiritual writers make the connection between knowing God and knowing oneself.

It seems to be impossible to grow in your knowledge of God without growing in your knowledge of yourself. Equally, times when you are really yourself, are times when God is very close. So reflect on those moments in your life when you feel really relaxed and at ease with yourself. Maybe it's when you're lying in bed in the morning before getting up; maybe it's when you're out walking, or fishing, or sailing; maybe it's when you're listening to music, or painting; maybe it's when you're gardening. Whenever it is, and there might be a number of different occasions, try thinking of those times as potentially times of prayer. Times when you are sufficiently relaxed and truly yourself that you may very naturally be open to God. Make a list of these moments. When they next occur, try to recognize them for what they are.

Perhaps you should try to make them happen more often, because they are not necessarily times of self indulgence, they can be named and used as times of prayer. It's often easier to recognize these moments, name them, and give them space and time to grow, rather than set yourself all sorts of difficult ways of improving your prayer life. The former is probably pleasurable, while the latter may be onerous. The former is also more likely to be successful!

Henry Morgan