BY SISTER LAURETTA LEIPZIG
Sister Joyce Rupp has written a great book of Scriptural reflections and prayers which she titled “Inviting God In.” She beieves that most of us have a true desire to grow spiritually and we want to take time for God in our lives. We feel certain that God is always present to us, but she reminds us that we must always be present to God as well. Rupp tells us that we need to come to a point in our lives where we want to pray and we cannot imagine a day in which we do not have the time and place for God.
No one of us is unfamiliar with prayer and the importance of it in our lives. Maybe a few new approaches to the subject may inspire us just a bit more. Let us concentrate on Rupp and other spiritual writers who have given us some very meaningful and creative words on prayer. Perhaps at least one of them may resonate more personally with each of us. First of all, we quote Rupp who tells us “that prayer is conversation with God – but with a God that is not ‘out there’– somewhere unreachable.” No. She reminds us we must be mindful that when we pray “God is WITH us, FOR us and dwelling WITHIN us.” Our prayer is an intimate conversation with God as we would have with a friend. Then there is the definition of prayer by another spiritual writer who described our relationship with God in prayer as that of a sponge in an Ocean of Love. We are in conversation with God as a “sponge filled with the Ocean of Love of God – filled with and surrounded by God’s great Love.” Finally, someone described prayer to be like a strong thread to which we want to hold on tenaciously. No matter what we face in our lives we hold on desperately to that thread. We don’t let go of it; it is our lifeline with and to God.
So, whether we feel God is intimately close to us (with, for and within our very being), or we see ourselves praying as sponges filled with God’s unimaginable love, or we confidently seek to hold on to that very thread that connects us to God, we know that God is present to us in every one of these described situations. For, in the end, if we can trust God with our eternity, we can certainly trust God with each day, each event, each prayer request of our hearts. Someone once said, “What you’re praying about, God is already working on it!”
Perhaps, Joyce Rupp summarizes it well when she suggest that we take to heart the words in the well-known and loved musical Godspell. “Three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, to love thee more dearly and to follow thee more nearly, day by day.” To see, to love and to follow – and we have “let God into our lives!”