Monday, May 28, 2012

It's Not Easy, But It Is Simple

As someone who is involved in a lot of youth ministry, it often falls on me to lead group prayer at the beginning or the end of a meeting. A lot of the time, another leader will take on the responsibility of leading prayer as well. Yes yes, for events, we always strive to have planned prayer services, but at meetings sometimes there isn't time. And so it falls on someone to just go for it and pray 'on the cuff.' And here's the thing about prayer - especially public prayer - we so badly want it to sound good or pretty. We desperately don't want it to be repetitive, but grandiose and intricate. We want it to somehow be worthy of elevation as a part of the mystical body of Christ, joining the swirling clouds of incense as it makes its way up from the altar to the ears of God. We're more worried about what other people are thinking when they hear our words, than the actual words we say, and whether we mean them. But it isn't necessary for prayer to be poetry. Let's check in with my good friend The Little Flower, and see what she has to say:

"Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look towards heaven. It is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." -St. Therese of Lisieux