Prayer is Shared Life with God
In one of my favorite books, To Pray and to Love, Roberta Bondi writes, "Prayer is shared life with God over an entire lifetime."
I love that.
For as long as I can remember, I've longed to share my life with God; invite Him to be a part of every aspect of my life; and share in the life, love, and intimate communion that's existed within the Godhead for all eternity. By partaking of this eternal life in God, I get to taste a little of His energies (His love, some of what He thinks, a little of how He feels), and I get to share my life with Him and those to whom He's yoked me together in community (see Jn 15 and 17:3).
As members of fallen humanity, we all share a common woundedness that far too often leads us away from God; and it inclines us not only to our own destruction but to the destruction of those around us, even those we care about most. Prayer is the ground zero for the shedding of our false selves, our healing, and the quickening of God's original Image within us. That Image is painted with the relational virtues of faith, hope, and love and is most readily experienced in our congruent expressions of holiness, humility, and purity of heart. These divine gifts affect who we are, what we do, and how we act; in turn (and quite organically), they affect who we're becoming as well. In their synergy, they comprise much of what makes us truly human: beings created in the relational image of an infinitely holy, humble, and passionately loving God. The original implanting of God's Image, no matter how buried it might be under the rubble and false personas of our fallenness, can be found and awakened within each of us as we begin to embrace it once again. And it's ours to embrace, for God gave it to us. As the Scriptures read, "the gifts and...calling of God are irrevocable" (Ro 11:29, NASB).
Thousands of years ago, God conveyed through the prophet Isaiah the following words: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" (Isa 55:8, NIV). While we, in our fallenness, may think and act in ways worlds apart from the ways God thinks and acts, God's very graciously offered us a way to become more like Him again. Through the gift of Scripture, He's invited each of us to partake of His life-giving Thoughts (see Mt 4:4), to make them ours, and, through divine transmutation, begin to recover all aspects of the Divine Image stamped in us at creation. In this process, God enables us to live out His Thoughts incarnationally as they become ever increasing expressions of our awakened beingness in Him.
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice