who we are is how we pray

that’s the title of a book on a friend’s shelf. i have no idea what the content of said book includes, but the title is thought provoking in and of itself–particularly since it’s been a topic of conversation at my house lately.

we all have different personalities, different ways of being. why should we have to conform in our respective prayer lives? could that be why it’s so hard for many christians to spend time in prayer? it’s very hard to do something you don’t want to do…and prayer, let’s face it, is something many of us don’t want to do…because we don’t like to do it because it seems to be ineffective…dare i say pointless?…for so many of us. and maybe that’s because we aren’t praying as we are…according to who we are. there is no prescription for prayer. it simply is what it is and, just as we are all unique, it takes on its own flavor…all of which are pleasing to God. where we came up with this notion of how to pray…of praying in a specified way is beyond me.

the same friend with the book on her shelf informed me that her church (methodist by the way) was going to have a prayer labyrinth out from 8:00 friday night to 8:00 saturday morning. so al and i went to walk the labyrinth. i have always found that to be an effective time of prayer for me…if for no other reason than that i get to spend some time in silence, something i don’t get to do as often as i like or should. i realized something last night as i was walking back out of the labyrinth…

the first time i experienced a prayer labyrinth was in div school in an experiential spirituality class. i sat and watched someone walk through…she was a dancer and moved along the path as a dancer walks–gracefully, carefully, intentionally, beautifully. it was such a beautiful sight i have since tried to replicate it. the problem is, i don’t move at my pace, in my way. i am dancing someone else’s dance and that does nothing for me in the long run.

dancing someone else’s dance can work for awhile, but ultimately, i have to find my own rhythm…my own way…my own dance.


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