Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"They Tied Themselves to the Mast and Steering Wheel so not to be Washed Overboard"

I have become completely unembarassed about prayer and praise these days. I am liable to start singing or praying at any moment, any time anywhere. I don't care if people laugh, think I'm crazy, showing off, or trying to impress them...etc. The intensity of the circumstances of my life have worked together to produce a completely unashamed and unapologetic praying Christian woman. I woke up yesterday morning and all I could see was the deck of a ship in a fierce storm. The crew was on board and they were tying themselves to the mast. It was dark. The waves were crashing and the boat was rocking violently, but they just kept wrapping the rope tighter. They were soaking wet, couldn't see, and their hair was everywhere. It was not a pretty sight, but they just kept wrapping the rope that much tighter. I knew God was showing me something about prayer and praise.
When we are going through a storm our persistent prayer and praise is what ties us to the one we hope in. Are you going through a hard time? Just keep wrapping yourself in the rope of prayer and praise. Is it dark? Are you having trouble seeing what is going on? Just keep wrapping the rope. Do things look a little messy right now in your life? Just keep wrapping the rope. Have your friends turned on you? Just keep wrapping the rope. Are you receiving evil for good? Just keep wrapping the rope. Is your heart broken because of what someone did or said about you. Just keep wrapping the rope. JUST KEEP WRAPPING THE ROPE!

I Thessalonians 5:17 pray continually;

10 comments:

jholder said...

The Fathers like to use the "Jesus Prayer" - "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" as "the" prayer.

An excellent book on praying continually: "The Way of the Pilgrim"

It is an amazing book, and an amazing prayer. I hope you get a chance to read it!

voixdange said...

My Thanks to you! I will check it out.

jholder said...

AngeVoix, I'll post both here and on my blog where you commented. A short summary of the "Jesus Prayer" can be found here.

In short: St. John Cassian, Diadochos, the 'Desert Fathers' specifically talk about 'arrow prayers' and this idea evolved in the first millennium into the widespead use of "The Jesus Prayer" as one of the best prayers for invoking contrition and love for others while also acknowledging the Godhead and our relationship to it.

The page linked to has a nice bibliography. The prayer itself is still widely practiced among Orthodox Christians.

Dan Trabue said...

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your God who is in secret. And God who sees in secret will reward you.

-Matthew 6:5-6

Pray continually, sure. But sometimes it pays to just keep it to yourself. People will know anyway.

Make my life a prayer to you
I wanna do what you want me to...

Keith Green

voixdange said...

Acts 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer...

It isn't public prayer that makes one a hypocrite, but the desire to be seen by others... and besides in the climate of today's society public prayer is much more likely to invoke ridicule rather than admiration...

Dan Trabue said...

aahhh, but sometimes, don't we desire the ridicule of those with whom we disagree? Could it possibly be a grand reaffirmation of our own holiness? Or am I speaking only for myself?

What I'm wondering is: To pray continually - what exactly does that mean? Should I walk, bike, bus around always with my head bowed and eyes closed, mumbling fervent sweet nothings to my God?

Or is there something to the notion of making our very lives a prayer to, a communication with a Living God?

Hmmmm... I've plenty of questions, but unfortunately few answers.

voixdange said...

Most of the time, when I am in public, I think most people would never know I am praying. What I was addressing in my original post was more of the kind of prayer Jesus prayed when nailed to the cross and in agony of spirit cried out to God from His gut. There are times in my life, when, as I stated in my post, the circumstances of my life are so intense, I have to cry out in an audible voice, even when others may not think it is appropriate. That was more what I was addressing. When we face those situations in our lives, we shouldn't be afraid or ashamed.

voixdange said...

But please don't miss the point of the post. The point of the post isn't about public prayer at all. The point of the post is that no matter how difficult the circumstances of our lives become, don't give up, and don't stop praying.

Dan Trabue said...

OK. Point taken. Let's not turn God off like a radio playing crappy music (ie, let's not stop praying).

amy said...

these are useful thoughts on prayer, thanks for sharing them/encouraging us.