Demographic experts tell us that there is a general spiritual awakening among people of various faiths. Some are returning to “organized” religions. Others are seeking spiritual answers along other paths. However it is done, people are realizing the importance of a healthy spiritual dimension to their lives.
One man tells about a time when his wife suffered from a headache. She took medication and lay down, but nothing seemed to help.
Her six-year-old daughter was concerned about her Mommy’s health, so the ailing woman asked her if she would like to pray for her. Little Leia said that she would. Leia put her hand on her mother’s head and prayed the only prayer she knew: “Lord, thank you for this food…”
I imagine that the words she uses are not important. In fact, I don’t know if any words are really adequate to express our deepest spiritual desires. Moreover, what seems most crucial is not so much how “good” we are at praying, but that we simply pause regularly to nurture the souls. Prayer is a dose of spiritual medication that, taken daily, can enhance all of life.
Leonardo da Vinci spent countless hours ruminating upon things of the spirit as he worked on his famous canvas of the Last Supper. He spent so much time meditating in the cloister that some of the monks in the community became concerned. They remonstrated with the artist about his wasting precious time and money. “Why do you spend so much time with us in prayer when you have come here to work?” they wondered.
Leonardo answered, “When I pause the longest, I make the most telling strokes with my brush.”
I do not feel I am all that good with prayer, but I am sure I’m not much good without it.