Last month I began to share my story of why I pray. This month the story continues.
For almost three years, I forged ahead in my life with little or no connection to the community of Christ known as the Church.
It was at that point that I began to date a lawyer who was a lapsed (self-declared) Roman Catholic who hardly ever went to Mass. One evening when we were out walking, and I was lamenting about something in my life that was out of whack, he suggested “Maybe I needed to get back to Jesus.”
Where that came from inside of him, I don’t know. It was the first and last conversation we ever had about Jesus. But his words helped me to take a new look at my life and to begin praying again, inviting Jesus into my life in new ways, asking to recognize God’s presence, God’s promise for me. And I began praying for more than just my own needs. I began praying for the needs of others, for my colleagues at work, and for my friends who did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, I began reconnecting with my friends in my faith community at Wesley UMC and we began praying together once more.
Each day, immediately after work, I tried to live a prayerful life. Before I did anything else in the evening, I would come home to my apartment, read my Bible, read what some of the spiritual “greats” had to say about prayer; and then spend a significant amount of time praying, listening for God’s plan and purposes for my life.
In February of 1981, while I was reading Thomas Merton (spiritual guru) one evening, I received my second call to the ordained ministry. This time I was prepared. I didn’t run from it. Prayer, that means of grace, opened me to it, allowing me to accept it.
To be continued...