prayer as paying attention
Father Reynolds (my spiritual director) and I always talk about prayer. We talk about it because, as I recently told him, I don't think most Protestants know how to pray (myself included). We Protestants left and then ridiculed the Catholics for their Hail Mary and beads and then never did anything with prayer ourselves.
(For what it's worth, he said he doesn't think most Catholics know how to pray either.)
With that in mind, I had a conversation with a friend about prayer. He told me of a more "New Age" idea that the answers are out there and we just need to align ourselves with them to find them. Which got us thinking of a Divine twist on that.
What if prayer is simply paying attention to the divine voice of then universe that is always speaking? The voice that speaks through our own intuition, through other people, through sunsets, through books, through other people's experiences of God (the Bible), and more?
If God is truly in everything (as I believe God is) then God is always speaking. We just need to pay attention. And maybe the point of asking, and asking persistently, is to continually hone ourselves into the correct posture (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) to hear the right answer that's out there.
This would seem more "conversational".
It's interesting if someone says they are praying for me - as in paying attention to some possible answers for me - I find that pretty encouraging.
So I'm trying it. What if I paid attention to what God was speaking for an entire month around a specific issue? Do I really think I wouldn't be any further along in discerning an answer?