My new book on prayer is really helping me! (See Reading List) First off, it goes right into saying that simply reading ABOUT prayer isn't actually praying. How simple of a statement, yet how often this is how I justify my prayer time. What I love about this book is that the chapters are short, so you can practice what is talked about afterwards....
Anyway, last night's reading really hit home for me. It talked about WHAT to pray for or what to say. It uses an acronym: RAPT (Repent, Adore, Petition, Thank...) and suggests that the crux of your prayer should be on adoring because this is something that is limitless--since God is limitless. Right away, I thought to myself, "Adore God? I don't even know what that means!" So, obviously, I spend little to no time on this step.
So, after I was done reading the chapter, I started "trying" it out with adoring. Okay, if I'm with someone I love, how do I "adore" them? Compliments, staring lovingly, serving them, spending time with them, etc. So, I started with the compliments part...because that's really all it took....giving God a compliment.
I started thinking about a moment in my day yesterday when my class and I were all singing at the top of our lungs during the spelling test. (Yes, sometimes this happens because the only sentences I can think of for the specific spelling word are song lyrics.) The time we spend singing together in my fourth grade room are numerous and beautiful. I've never had a group of kids who love to sing and dance as much as these guys.
So, back to my prayer...I thought to myself, "God, you are so awesome for giving me children with such enthusiasm for life...their smiles, their joy, their unique likes and dislikes...and for giving us the gift of music that makes us happy together..." just daydreaming about how God creates us so pure and innocent and yet super complex and mysterious all at the same time. And in this moment, sitting on my couch in my living room, I started to laugh! Not bust-a-gut laugh, but giggle...like I was being tickled from the inside of my stomach. It was weird, I'm not going to lie. One of those freaky moments where you think to yourself, "What is going on here?"
I've read about this before where saints were given the gift of laughter, where they would be laughing uncontrollably in prayer...I'm not exactly saying that this is what that was...but I was definitely amused and there was NO ONE else in the room. Well, God's Presence.
And whack! It hit me...Prayer is real. Have I ever really known this before? It's not something I do to make myself feel better or apply to my life like medicine or a magic trick. I need it...as tangibly as a drink of water, food or companionship. And I can ADORE the Lord about ANYTHING..my adoration/wonder topics are endless: people, the path my life has taken and how God has rescued me in so many instances, the Mysteries of the Church, nature, etc. All those wonderful things only He created that I could never be smart enough to dream up.
Thinking up all these topics got me fired up a little bit, because my prayer could be interesting, exciting---not just a chore like I always have treated it. As time passes, I will be able to speak more on this, hopefully. For now, I'm in wonder of my giggles during a "serious" time of a prayer and what that means for life!