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Focused Faith

Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. Luke 18:1

Changing the things I can. This is often a challenge for me. The many distractions, the desire to influence or impact that over which I am powerless, and being out of sync or unfocused often get in the way.

The parable of the unjust judge and the persistent/relentless/hyper-focused widow in Luke 18 has been a powerful reminder to me to pray always. Whether I trust I can change something or that it will be changed I can offer whatever that "it" is up in prayer. Over the years I have reflected upon how the “always” in pray always can also be “in all ways”. Praying in all ways is in an invitation to a lifelong journey of praying in many ways.

Praying while walking, doing laundry, digging in the garden are some of the ways that I have accepted this invitation. Praying in silent contemplation with an open heart and mind that is quieted by keeping the space is another. Focusing on being connected to God through prayer is and will be a lifelong focus for me. What are some of the ways that you pray?

There is praying out loud with others and asking others to pray for me. Journaling, reading scripture in a prayerful manner, and walking a labyrinth- have helped me to not lose heart. Prayers that visualize placing myself, my loved ones, my hopes and fears, concerns and doubts into the tender loving hands of Jesus- these are just some of the ways I keep getting to learn to bravely build anew my prayer life.

This month as we explore faith practices we are also entering into our Stewardship theme of “Bravely Building Anew”. Exploring the focused faith of Nehemiah as he rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem, I invite your curiosity and exploration of faith practices that will keep you focused on how God is with you and in you, around you and working through you.

Both Nehemiah and the wall were built up, fortified, and renewed by his faith practice of working on the wall. Work and prayer, a faith focused on listening to God and then living out how we each hear God calling to us -sets us on the course to live out our callings. Keeping at it, practice by practice, prayer by prayer --we do not lose heart instead we live out this gift of faith we have been given focusing on how this God who loves us so immensely is calling us to each work and pray, love, serve and grow.

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