My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

26 September 2007

Prayer means staying awake

Accordingly it seems to me that anyone who intends to embark on prayer should lay a foundation for himself by preparing himself a while so that he will be the more attentive and alert throughout his prayer. He will have put aside every testing and troubling thought and will recall, as far as possible, the greatness of the one whom he is approaching, and the disrespect which lies in approaching him yawning and inattentively and, as it were, contemptuously.
Origen, On Prayer, 31.2

1 comment:

Jason said...

I heard recently that when devout Jews pray, they rock back and forth to create a "rhythm" of prayer and also to focus attention. Not bad.

Origen's statement seems to imply that true prayer will take time. How often do I rush to the task, just to check it off my list for the day? I've thought for years in answer to the Covey question, "What is the one activity that I know if I did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in my personal/professional life?" that prayer is the answer. And yet I find myself dragging my feet to my prayer closet.