Do you pray the prayer or does the prayer pray you?

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Prayer is a difficult word to define and it elicits a myriad of emotions.  I have memorized many prayers and sometimes the mouth moves but the thoughts are somewhere else.  Perhaps it is because the words are so familiar that I don’t pay attention to what I am saying.  That is me ‘praying the prayer.’

So, what exactly is the ‘prayer praying me?’  It’s when the words of the prayer transform me and guide my thoughts and actions.

Here’s what I mean (one of my favorites):

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The serenity?  Oh, believe me, I have learned the hard way that there are many things that I cannot change.  Do I like that?  Not one bit, but I have to accept it…….but serenity? It’s tough to feel serene when things don’t go my way.

The courage?  It does take courage to change things.  How often do I let things go  because of my lack of courage. ‘Keep the peace,’ ‘Go with the flow,’ ‘Don’t rock the boat,’ need I say more?  There are so many reasons to not be courageous enough to make changes, especially in myself.

The wisdom? How often do I ask for wisdom?  Not often enough! I like to make my own decisions about what to accept and what to change. Asking for wisdom might just make me a little uncomfortable.  Ugh!

‘Praying the prayer’ are words that come out of me. The ‘prayer praying me’ are the words entering in, for growth, transformation and love.

God, grant me the serenity……….

 

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