It's the first week of the month and that means it's Random Journal Link-up out in the blogisphere. I look forward to these days when I can reach into the tomes I have up on my shelf and discover something about my history. If I wrote an entry a week, I wouldn't ever finish combing the bowels of those blue notebooks. But it's fun to dive in. After reading mine (first, of course), head over to Dawn's place to check out what else is in the pool. You can find the interesting, powerful story of Jeannie Pallet's history with journal's featured there, too. The link's right here.
For years I was privileged to be part of a group of women who met in a small room in our church each week to pray. It wasn't a coffee clutch, we didn't bring our knitting and no food was ever served. We simply got up early (at least early for me!) once a week, stumbled into our places in a small ante room off the women's bathroom and after a bit of conversation, began to pray. We didn't go around the room sharing prayer concerns first, we learned early on that they would come out organically as we prayed, and that if we took the time to talk about them, we'd use up our praying time.
This journal entry I've found has me musing about prayer (it's July 2003):
I was telling K yesterday that there's a significant difference in the way women pray in our group. Some I've noticed primarily seek God on behalf of themselves and their own families and their own needs. They are supplicants, They give more information than God needs and sometimes leave me with the impression that our time together are their primary hour of prayer. Others are intercessors: they pray for others--locally, corporately, cosmically. There is an expansiveness to their praying that, even when specific, included all. It's almost like they're simply including us in an ongoing conversation. "Come join me as I talk to Father God with you."
That's what I want--for my life to be an ongoing conversation, by word and action, with Father God. I am a subject to the King and have daily, immediate access to Him in His Throne room. Isn't that an amazing idea? No, that's not even it? Not a subject, but His own beloved child who can come flying across that Throne room and climb up into His lap. That's who I am. And that's how I should pray.
Or maybe both at once. With reverence because He's I AM THAT I AM, and immediacy because He's Abba Father: yes, these are the two sides of the coin of how I converse with my God.
"The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives--altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure...we do not have to be bright or pure or filled with faith or anything . That is what grace means, and not only are we saved by grace, we live by it as well. AND we pray by it." Richard Foster, Prayer, 8.