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Thoughts on Prayer

After all my years of theological training and all my years of experience as a minister, I have come to a simple and rigorous definition of prayer. Prayer is the discipline of listening to the heart of God (one of many names that can be given to the Divine Spirit of the Universe). It is not the human rhetoric of advising God as if God needs to be convinced to do the right thing.

God is love, justice, mercy, faith, hope and truth.Prayer indeed changes things—it changes us.Prayer is the devotional silence of seekers who open themselves to hear God speak.

In the devotional classic, The Imitation of Christ, St. Thomas a Kempis wrote, “There was once a conflicted man who knelt at the altar and prayed, ‘If only I could know, I could persevere.’  And presently he heard in his heart the divine answer: ‘And if you knew, what would you do? Do that now, and you will rest secure.’” We come to know God by trusting fully that God is with us, God is for us, and God is in us.

Linda Jordan
Pawleys Island, South Carolina


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