Old Man PrayingI’d recently come to the conclusion that my prayer life sucked. And as you may know from an earlier posting, I’d recently picked up the Anglican Breviary again and fell head-long into it with relish. (Okay, maybe not the entire breviary, but at least the hours of Lauds and Vespers which is a huge undertaking.) For some reason, this time it felt very different to me. It was comfortable, warm, inviting; like a cool drink in the summer and a warm blanket in the winter. It has a calming effect on me. My mind is at ease, my stress level comes down (if there is any), my head is clearer, and I feel as though I’ve accomplished something.

But I also noticed something else happening. Things started to move in my life. Brick walls that seemed to be so solid for so long began crumbling, and those ever-elusive answers were coming, seemingly, out of no-where. When talking to a friend of mine, I put 2 and 2 together and expressed my gratitude that things were happening because of prayer. Her response was a little surprising to me from the start. Being a good Catholic girl, she responded that it was most likely a change in my state of mind because I was praying, and not necessarily the prayers, themselves.

At first I dismissed it. After all, no matter who you are, I will always respect your thoughts on politics and religion (my momma taught me good!) whether I agree with it or not; and I always hope others will respect mine as well. As adults we can agree to disagree. But I continued to think about what she said, and I realized – she was right.

And why not? If I truly believe that prayer and faith can accomplish anything, who am I to determine just how those wonders will be worked? We’re told faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, but we weren’t told the mountain would fly off in any direction; merely that it would be moved. By pre-determining in our own minds how something should happen is like putting God in a box. It closes our minds to other possibilities and blinds us to movement in another direction. Miracles are not supernatural occurrences. They’re very natural. Birth is a miracle; love is a miracle; sometimes simply waking up in the morning is a miracle!

So why wouldn’t our own minds be altered through prayer (and faith)? It is the ultimate mind alteration. Through this, we’re merely opening our minds and allowing those wonders to be worked as natural occurrences. We’re simply getting out of our own way.

But we still have to ask that final question, then: Who is it that moved us out of our way? I have my answer.