The Power of Routine
Routines can be so helpful. They keep us going. They allow us to return to tasks that need to be done on a regular basis, sometimes even without much thought. I also know that some of us are pretty spontaneous people. We chafe at the thought of living a routine life. The reality is a routine life sounds pretty boring and dull. So what about spiritual routines, like worship and prayer? If someone asks, “When is the best time to pray?” one answer could certainly be, whenever the Spirit leads us to pray.
Jesus talks quite a bit about prayer. In the sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 6: 5-13) Jesus talks about authentic prayer. This is not practiced, rote prayer, the kind we can recite without much thinking or effort or the kind of prayer that we want others to notice. Authentic prayer is simply offering ourselves. It can be a lament for all that is troubling is. It can be prayers of praise when we stop and notice what God is doing in our midst. It’s about giving God our burdens and allowing God to work in the messy places of our lives. It is about recognizing how we are dependent on God for so much of our lives.
The power of routine in prayer is to cultivate a regular practice, so that prayer is as natural for us as breathing. It is to make sure prayer is real i.e. it reflects the reality of our lives, what we’re facing and what we most need. Jesus reminds us that God already knows what we need. Our asking is not about nagging God, but reaching for the help we most need from the one who loves us the most. This is prayer that brings us even more into the presence of God. This is prayer that opens our lives to receive the gifts God has for us, gifts we might not even recognize we need, until God drops them into our laps.
Sunday we worship and pray to the God who is always with us, always ready to hear from us and always ready to give to us.
Dave Summers, PhD
602-840-8360 Ext 131
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