Soul Exercise

Pray, pray, pray to develop soul muscles—to bring peace to your inner life, and open your heart to the life of God.

When I fail to pray, my spirit becomes flaccid, my mind grows restless and I cannot discern—I lose understanding, and my spirit grows anxious, seeking every form of distraction. I become lost in a world of my own creation, convinced that God is no longer present.

Prayer is the exercise that makes us lighter, and burns away our life in the flesh—but it is painful. How difficult it is to stand fast in prayer while we experience all manner of discomfort: distractions, boredom, unpleasant sensations of soul and body, unsettled emotions, memories, doubts, regrets, shame, despair, sorrow and fears—but this is the doorway to prayer. We are just warming up, stretching our spiritual muscles, and preparing ourselves for the real activity of prayer—relationship with God.

In this life we tend to tie ourselves into knots. Prayer is the necessary unraveling of these knots. As we warm up to prayer, these knots release—this will initially be painful. Because we have contorted our spirits in avoidance of God; we must make straight what we have made crooked, so that we can see Him clearly again, and understand the truth of ourselves in relation to Him, turning away from the deceptive allure of a life separated from Him.

Pray, pray, pray with words until you no longer need them. Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Pray the Jesus Prayer. Pray the many other prayers written for our benefit. Pray with hope before every activity, and again with thanks for everything that has transpired. Pray continually and make your soul a house of prayer.

Pray in spirit and in truth when the words become distractions. Pray in a quiet and private place. In stillness and silence make your home through prayer, so that God will abide there with you.

Pray until you lose yourself, and find yourself at the feet of God, then listen to His voice. Pray with tears, if you are able, and turn your heart to God.

Don’t be discouraged. If you stop prayer, start again. If you haven’t prayed for years, start today. If you’ve never prayed, start today. Grow strong in prayer through repetition and perseverance. Build endurance through habit.

Discover the sweetness and beauty wrapped within prayer—a fragrance of joy and peace that will permeate your life.

 

~FS

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