Prayer: Initiation

So, I realize that a long time has passed between the preview and this. There is a reason for that… just… not a very good one. I’ve been… ignoring this blog. Not procrastinating for the sake of not doing it, not being afraid of posting badly… I’ve flat out been living like this isn’t something I want to do. The reason?

This one scares me a little.

I know how crazy that sounds… It’s prayer. It’s not like I’m looking for God by jumping out of an airplane or going through a gang initiation… And yet… I’ve been terrified of investing myself in this one. It was a lot easier to just… let it slide than it was to deal with it.
“Deal with what?” You might ask? Well… all sorts of things, really.

  • What if I pray and God tells me that I’m wrong, he does want me to act like all the other Christians at church?
  • What if I pray and find out that the reason God hasn’t been present in my life for the last five years… was because I haven’t been praying?

Or, most terrifying of all:

  • What if, like the bulk of the other things I’ve tried thus far… I pray… and nothing happens.

That’s right, I said it. What if the default, de-facto Christian answer to all of life’s troubles, just doesn’t work? What if I pray, and still feel like a crummy human being? What if I pray and I don’t feel that God is listening? How do I deal with that? Because in the past the answer has been to stop looking for a God that doesn’t want to be found.

But … some part of me knows that until I do this… Until I put the same time and effort into the traditional means of finding God, all I’m doing is looking for an easy way out. You’re not brave if all you face are things you’re not scared of.

Prayer scares me. It has the potential to tell me I’m wrong. It has the potential to agree with the voice that’s been  in the back of my head for the last five years telling me that I’ve somehow fucked everything up and this is all my fault. Prayer scares me because if it forces me to be honest. It forces me to look at all the ugliness,at the layer of human scum that has formed on the surface of my spiritual depths.

Back… before… all of this. Prayer was something I loved. I valued and appreciated it. I could tell you the sixteen different types of prayer and explain their differences. I knew how to do it because I did it. Often. Loud music in a dark room. I would walk in there, brazen, confident. Why wouldn’t God show up? Why wouldn’t he make himself known to me? Sometimes I think he did. Other times, I’m not so sure. Okay, as of late,  a lot of the time I’m not so sure.

I know I’ve gone on for a while here. If I had a nickel for each ellipsis in this jumble of trailing off thoughts I’d be a rich man. The bottom line is, Prayer is something I have to do if I’m going to move on. If I’m going to grow. Even if it’s ugly. Even if it’s every bit as painful as I’m scared it’s going to be. Honestly, I think I could deal with God laying some heavenly wrath down on me better than I could this continued silence. At least with wrath I know I have his attention… Regardless. I have to go looking for him here, in this dark swamp that used to be a meadow.

As such, I’m not putting conditions on this one. No specific practice. No hour in a secluded room. Not even a specific time frame for focusing on it. This may very well go on for longer than ten days. If it does, I’m not going to cut it short to move on to baking a quiche for Jesus. The only thing I can promise is that I will maintain some presence here. I don’t know how often I’ll be posting, but it will certainly be at least weekly. If things go well it may be more than that.

For the first time since I’ve started this blog, I feel like I’m about to start some sort of a journey. I don’t really know where it will take me or what it will look like, but I know it has to start now.

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