Sunday, April 18, 2010

let us pray

Minister and author Leighton Ford and his wonderful wife, Jean, spoke at our church this morning about the habit of prayer. I didn't take notes, but what I took away from it is that Mrs. Ford, sister of the Reverend Billy Graham, prays without ceasing throughout the day. She keeps a conversation going with God and once advised a friend who said she didn't know how to pray to think of it like learning to ride a bike. Just start and keep at it until it comes naturally. Practice. She prays in the morning that God will bless her attitude, her words, her actions. Sometimes her prayer is simply the words help or thank you. Mr. Ford said that if we feel like the only answer to our prayers is silence, then to turn to the scriptures and listen for God's voice there. There's no one right way to pray, he says, and even suggests repeating a few lines from a Psalm and turning that into a prayer. Appreciating music, poetry and nature can be a form of prayer. He summed things up with a quote by poet Mary Oliver who wrote"Pay attention, be astonished, talk about it." That seems like a perfect way to proceed.
Luca della Robbia’s Madonna and Child, Metropolitan Museum of Art

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