Recently I have thinking about my spiritual journey throughout my life. Part of these thoughts spring from an assignment that I am working on for spiritual direction training through Christian Formation and Direction Ministry (cfdm). I realize that there have been three major themes in my prayer journey.
In my late teenage years and early young adult years I learned the significance of intercessory prayer, praying for the needs of other people. This aspect of my prayer life was especially imparted to me while a student at Lutheran Bible Institute. Oh, I prayed for myself, but praying for others became a very significant portion of my prayer life.
Following this part of my spiritual journey my prayer life took a bend as I became influenced by the charismatic movement and then praise became paramount. The Psalmist wrote that God inhabits the praises of his people. Now even as I added the element of praise it did not mean that intercession was less important, but rather that prayer took on an added layer, an added element.
Now for the third layer, or the third bend in my prayer journey. The third element has been more challenging and it has been a journey of many years, many decades. Again, just because there is a third bend in the journey, it does not mean that bends number one and two are not longer important. They are, but now there is more to prayer.
This third bend is the element of prayer being a dialog, an interchange between Jesus and myself. In this part of my prayer journey what is important is not having God meet my or someone else’s need, nor is it even praising God for who he is. Rather prayer is that time of being in God’s presence and getting to know him and at the same time getting to know myself in him. This portion of prayer is centered in love, being totally loved and totally loving. Silence is the attitude and posture of this prayer, and I must say, I am only a novice in the journey.