It’s tempting to make prayer a means to an end – a way to get something or check a box for being a good disciple. I’m learning that prayer is more of a journey…a transformation…an awakening. Jesus invites us to pray – to ask, seek and knock. The door will be opened, and we will find and receive. But what will we find? Where does that door lead? What do we gain in the process? When we place ourselves before God, who will we become? Seen in this way, prayer is less of a task and more of a way to live.
Although sometimes we pray to change others, at its best, prayer changes us. Years ago, a friend suggested that I pray for someone with whom I was in conflict. “Don’t pray that this person changes,” my friend told me. “Just pray for them. Lift them up to God and see what happens.” What happened was that I began to see the conflict in a new light. I moved toward forgiveness. Something inside me shifted…and released.
This message is excerpted from “Small dragons, deep prayers” by Lisa A. Smith in the July/August 2022 Gather magazine. Today is the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany. It is also the birthday of Katharina von Bora Luther. Celebrate Katie’s birthday with a gift to Katie’s Fund. To contribute online, go to welca.org/donate and select “Katie’s Fund” in the pulldown designation menu. To contribute via a check, make your check out to Women of the ELCA and write “Katie’s Fund” in the memo line. Mail to: Women of the ELCA, ELCA Gift Processing Center, PO Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.
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