Daily Prayer A Stewardship Meditation by Nell Fernandez Can any good come of the COVID-19 pandemic? What can we gain from enforced isolation and so much leisure time to fill? My answer is: Yes, there is good to be found; we can develop the habit of daily prayer. Jesus tells his disciples to go to a place without distractions and not to bring a to-do list for God, for “he knows what you need before you ask him.” Rather, in the prayer he gave us, we are to praise God and ask for his will to be done, and ask for forgiveness of our sins… Praying may feel awkward and meaningless, especially if you are rushed and your mind is filled with distractions. But think about the first time you threw a Frisbee or swung a golf club. If you are like me, you said to yourself “This feels so wrong! Will I ever get any better at it?” Praying can feel the same way. As any athlete will tell you, the secret to improvement is practice. If you pray daily, taking the time to calm your thoughts and focus on God, you will learn the joys and rewards of a new closeness with Him. Not to inform him of all that’s wrong in the world, He knows already. Rather to express your longing for him, to thank Him “in all circumstances,” and to rejoice in the knowledge of His love and care for you. My personal introduction to prayer came through Ken Swanson’s Spiritual Direction course. For the first time, I learned that spiritual growth was available to me. Choosing to pursue that growth has made my life richer in many ways and helps me navigate this time of pandemic and political upheaval. Although it is not easy at first, once we shut down the electronic devices and listen to the silence, we will begin to hear the voice of God.
Daily prayer can become a part of your life, and you will experience the realization that you are never alone. As written by the Psalmist: “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”