Prayer Reflection by Angie Foster, Authorised Lay Minister for Prayer & Spirituality


Opening to God     Prayer Reflection by Angie Foster

Here is my offering this month on the topic of PRAYER. Again, it is with thanks to Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation from his Centre for Action and Contemplation.

Franciscan theologian Ilia Delio speaks of the love of God which is at the heart of the eternal and ineffable desire to pray:

Prayer is the longing of the human heart for God. It is a yearning and desire for relationship with God, and it is God’s attention to our desire: God-in-communion with us. The great spiritual writer Augustine of Hippo, captured the longing of the human heart in the beginning of his Confessions: “You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” We long for God because we are created by God, and this longing is both the source of our hope in God and the very thing we resist. Prayer is an awakening to the fact that the fulfilment of my life lies in God.

God delights in creation and loves each of us with a personal love. Prayer, therefore, is God’s desire to breathe in me, to be the spirit of my life, to draw me into the fullness of life. When I pray—when I breathe with God—I become part of the intimacy of God’s life. The Franciscan theologian, Saint Bonaventure, wrote in his Soliloquy, “God is the One who is closer to you than you are to yourself.” Prayer is recognizing the intimate in-dwelling of God in our lives, the One who remains faithful in love even when the world around us may fall apart.

Delio writes of the risk and vulnerability that we are invited to share with God in prayer and the fruit it offers us:

To pray is to open up oneself to God who dwells within us. It means holding back nothing from God and sharing everything with God. Only the grace of God can enable us to let go of our fears and allow God to be the God of our lives. True prayer is fundamental for life in God. It is that grace of conversion that opens up our hearts to realize the humble presence of God in our lives. Prayer of the heart is unceasing prayer, where God breathes in us and our hearts are turned toward God. This deepening of our lives in the divine life is the path to self-discovery. In and through prayer we discover our true selves, the self that God has created each of us to be.

Life in God should be a daring adventure of love but often we settle for mediocrity. We follow the daily practice of prayer but we are unwilling or, for various reasons, unable to give ourselves totally to God. To settle on the plain of mediocrity is to settle for something less than God, which leaves our hearts restless and unfulfilled. Prayer is that dynamic, life-giving relationship with God by which we grow deep in God’s Word, strong in God’s grace, and free in God’s love to dream with God the unimaginable.”

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