Prayer is a relationship where you allow another to enter into the very centre of your person. You share things that you would rather leave in the darkness. It is about allowing God into the core of your being. This can sometimes trigger a defensive attitude within us to prayer.
It is about letting go. Fear drives us to stay with what we know. We have attachments that we find hard to let go of. We feel safer clinging to a sorry past than to trust in a new future.
The noise in our head can revisit over and over again our fears, insecurities, how others perceive us, etc. These are all the fruits of the ego.
Prayer needs detachment from what does not bring us life. It is about not being afraid to offer, hate, bitterness, disappointments to the one who reveals itself as love, (i.e. God). We do not need to pretend, hold back.
As we learn to surrender one of our fears, our hand relaxes to receive! We need patience, it is often a gradual process.
We never fully get there; we are getting there. Sometimes we might even think that we are going backwards!
Sometimes indeed we look back to what has not been life-giving in our life so that we reaffirm our decision not to stay there but to move forward.
Prayer is about living, being truly alive, liberation.
We need some silence in our lives as we pray, but silence can be frightening. Silence can be like a dark night without starts. It can leave you feeling alone, even trapped in past mistakes.
However, it can also be like a night full of moon, starts, peaceful, reflective, when we don’t need to go looking for friends, but expect friends to arrive. Silence can be frightening; it can also be peaceful.
We need to recapture the art of silence. Many are addicted to noise. Instead of being cleaned up within from our tangled desires, we cheat ourselves from being cured. It is tempting to stay ‘busy’.
There are many people who cannot stand to be alone, who find it hard to sit calmly and quietly.
When we attempt to be silent, we can be distracted by noise outside, and restlessness within keeps stirring anxiety.
Hence, we can avoid silence. When we do not run away from silence, new life is possible.
In the silence of peace and prayer.
Prayer is liberating from compulsion. It makes it possible to be ourselves with others and life.
It is about being ‘poor in spirit’ and reorganising that ‘unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do the builders labour!’