North Highland United Methodist Church
Friday, February 26, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

March 2009 Column

The Spiritual Discipline of PRAYER
How Prayer Works
Marilyn Chandler McEntyre writes of her experience joining a Quaker friend to meet regularly to share prayer practices. They asked many “nosy” questions of one another. A recurring question was “How do you think prayer works?”
I am paraphrasing her thoughts and adding some of my own. She learned, and I totally agree, prayer that “works” is prayer that gives us some clarity or insight. There is often an “ah ha” that follows a period of prayer, especially when that prayer is a silent time of listening with God.
Prayer is working when, after having a “little talk with Jesus,” we are more accepting of uncertainty.
It also can spring us into action. It has long been my belief that prayer works best when we work!
Prayer can “work” by opening our hearts in spite of ourselves or by enabling us to suddenly imagine a point of view other than the one we have doggedly held. Prayer can loosen our grip on all manner of cherished plans and problems. It can even make us laugh, a laughter that brings both release and trust that “all shall be well.”
Two small groups which meet regularly at North Highland to share the practice of prayer are Centering Prayer on Mondays at 5:30 P.M. and Morning Prayer on Tuesdays at 8:30 A.M. No one will ask you any nosy questions . . . or any questions at all. The Lenten Season invites us to prayer.
Peace, Sheila,
Pastor Emeritus