May 3, 2006


Two days ago Larry decided to go on a 24 hour fast to pray about the future. I love this man: a man who takes God seriously when it comes to planning his future, and ours. I joined him in the fast, so did his family and friends. Larry said he was awakened at 5 AM in the middle of his fast. So he got up, walked around his neighborhood, and prayed.

I did nothing of the sort. I didn't pray much, not the kind where you sit in silence and wait. Whatever prayer I carried out was thinking out loud in the car, praying as I typed, typing what I was praying; or praying while I was juicing ten pounds of fruits and vegetables I planned to drink on this fast. Larry's fast is over. He inadvertently ended it early when he went out to lunch with a friend. I've got a quart of carrot-apple-ginger juice and a gallon of Master Cleanser in my fridge. I guess I've got a lot more praying to do.

Coincidentally (or not?), tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. Today I came across a radio program on which an old man was talking about prayer. He said that many years ago, he realized that if God wanted him to grow into a man whose character resembled Jesus', he better start spending time with that Person: in prayer. He also said that, before every major decision Jesus made, He went out alone to pray. I thought of my Larry doing the same thing, taking the time to pray. I feel proud and honored to be with a man whose character resembles Jesus. (actually, so does his hair. Hmmm). And I thought it more-than-coincidental that I stumbled onto this radio program not a day after Larry had fasted and prayed. I love this man. I'm so freakin lucky.

The old guy on the radio said his great-great grandfather prayed at least an hour a day. These people didn't have TV or the internet. Go back further, they didn't have electricity. So what did they do in the dark? Besides make babies? They prayed.

Anyway, this old man lamented that our prayers today tend to be shallow: unloading our problems, asking for things. Not that asking was wrong. But it was clear his experiences in prayer had gone much deeper. I could hear it in his age-weathered voice. It was calm and grounded.

He talked about how wonderful it is just to have a prayer life with God. He said he tried to talk less and listen more. He prayed for his children. I thought of my mom, who was up at dawn every day reading her Bible and praying ... mostly for her children.

I heard that still calm in this man's voice, and I started to cry. I cried not out of guilt, but out of envy and longing to have what this man had. Longing for what my mom had. Ache for what I've had in the past: A deep solid calm, grounded in a history of getting quiet and listening to the Person who loves you, who knows you, and whose character you'd most like to resemble.

I still have all that juice in my fridge. I think I'm going to keep on this fast until it's gone. And until I've had some of those moments in prayer I've been longing for. The kind you can't get when you're shoving carrots into a juicer, or trying not to murder the driver in front of you.


1 comment:

Madley said...

Amen. I feel incredible longing when I read this... thanks.

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