Sunday, October 30, 2016

Why Do We Pray?

As part of our homeschool program this year, I have been using Decision Point by Matthew Kelly with my teen boys. I think it is an excellent book. It was given to me by a friend and I am so thankful for the resource. It is geared for right where teens are at in their lives, trying to figure out who they are and what they want their future to be. But as I read it, I learn (or relearn) things as well.

In doing my homework for the coming week today I came across this quote:

During [Thoreau's] time there in the woods, he wrote these words:

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live life deliberately . . . I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life . . .to put to rout all that was not life . . . and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

In some ways, I pray for the same reason Thoreau went to the woods. I pray because I want to live life deliberately. I pray because I want to live life deeply and suck all the marrow out of life! I pray because I want to work on what really matters in this life and spend my time on those things. I pray because I don't want to come to the end of my life and discover that I have not really lived.

I have tried life with and without prayer, and found that life without prayer is unbearable. Without prayer, life doesn't make sense. I don't know how people live without prayer. I don't know how you could remain sane in this crazy, noisy, busy world without prayer. Living without prayer is like choosing to be blind, lame, deaf, and dumb.

I have always loved that quote by Thoreau. It describes how I want to live, but I have never thought of it in connection with prayer before. I think Kelly nails it in this passage. Prayer is hard sometimes, but I can't imagine life without that connection to God. There are times when there is no consolation, and it feels like my prayers are falling on deaf ears. Prayer does not mean my life is problem free, but I always feel like life would be worse if I did not pray. It would certainly have less meaning. God gives me the grace I need to get through one day at a time. I hope if my children learn nothing else from me, they will learn that prayer is the most important thing in life.

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