What expectations and intentions are you bringing into prayer?
Be honest now! Prayer can be a difficult subject to approach because of the weight of the expectations and intentions we carry with us.
One expectation that we put on ourselves is thinking that there are only certain ways in which we should pray to God. Whether it is thinking we need to tightly grip our hands in a certain way or feeling that we need to use certain words, these are weighty expectations. What about the expectation of time? If only we had more time, if our schedules were not so busy, if life could just slow down, then, surely, we would pray, right?
Yeah, I don’t think so either.
The expectation of time goes along with thinking we should have a certain amount of energy when we pray and that we need a correct type of attitude to pray. The list goes on and on. All of these expectations only serve to keep us from the simplicity and fruitfulness that God desires for each of us to receive with praying.
And what about our intentions?
Do we intend to fulfill a desire for ourselves through prayer without regarding what God might be intending for us? Here stands a crossroad between half-hearted practices and living into the creative accountability God invites us to receive through the Holy Spirit. Whatever intentions we may have, God invites us to clear a space where we can be led, in prayer, by the Holy Spirit. In such a creative and divine space, the intentions that lay within our hearts, minds, and souls will arise and meet God.
Prayer is not something we need only turn to in moments of crises or jubilation. As sappy as it may sound, prayer is a daily, fluid reality that welcomes every part of us as we align ourselves to God’s Kin-dom with humility. Likewise, we need not only depend on one method of praying or on one liturgy to sustain our journey through prayer. More foundational than any book of prayer that we might use is the commitment to order our lives around practices of prayer, rather than trying to fit prayer in when it is convenient.  This commitment extends an invitation to daily receive and be guided by God’s Spirit in prayer.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to orient our time and rhythms of prayer, then we will experience a simple yet fruitful offering before God and others that will enrich our faith. Will we receive the intention to offer ourselves vulnerably to God both personally and communally by sharing the state of our souls? Will we intentionally create room to receive God and others mutually in prayer as a means to anchor our faith?
If so, we may just become witnesses of and stewards to God’s transformative work in the world, one prayer, one moment, one experience of grace at a time.
Invitation to Missional Mindfulness:
- What expectations might be keeping you from experiencing the simplicity and fruitfulness of prayer?
- What clear intentions can you make for your personal prayer life with God?
- What clear intentions can you create with others to mutually hold one another accountable in prayer?
 Adapted from Heath, Elaine, ed. Abide: A Guide to Living in Intentional Community. Missional Wisdom Foundation, 2014..
The Missional Wisdom Foundation Rule of Life
We hope you are enjoying our study of the Missional Wisdom Foundation Rule of Life. This is our last week to focus on The Rule. This way of life continually blesses us in many ways and we hope that you, our Dispersed Community, have been able to share in that blessing. If you would like a very nice, framable copy of the MWF Rule of Life, you can find several options in our Merchandise Store.