Friday, September 27, 2013
If I don't, I definitely should. We all should. We really must sleep, awaken, work, play, eat, rest, go through all of life in the armor of God. After all, this life is a battleground, and if we don't believe that, we haven't read enough Scripture or Church teaching or lives of the saints.
I have spent most of today on the battlefield. I've been battling intensely for my life of prayer. Paying close attention to this, I've realized it's kind of a revolving door. I must remain armored in prayer, and the only way to do that is to pray, which strengthens the armor and helps me ward off attacks on my prayer.
And the door swings backward as well. I give up some prayer-ground, off falls a bit of my armor, I am less likely to pray, I get more easily sidetracked... and 'clank.' Another piece hits the ground.
Going through a day without prayer is going into battle without weapons. It is facing the enemy unarmored, unprotected, vulnerable. It only follows, then, that a main tactic of the enemy is to convince us that we don't need to pray. ('pssst: it doesn't change anything, God knows the world's needs already, you're too busy right now, you need to relax and surf the web, yada yada yada ..').
I spent a lot of time today just paying attention. If I got sidetracked while in prayer, I noted what distracted me. My distractions at this time of life are largely of my own making. I no longer have the responsibilities of a young mommy. Funny. I used to imagine that at this stage, I would be floating seamlessly through St. Teresa's "Interior Castle." It hasn't exactly worked out that way. Once the arrows of busy-ness lessened, ones of laziness whooshed right in to take their place.
I managed to pray Morning Prayer (by God's grace) as soon as the day began. It was tough - I mean really tough - not to check e-mail beforehand. The struggle helped me identify a compulsion: I can feel a "need" to check e-mail first thing, not intending to answer any of it right then, but still - it takes my mind into all sorts of directions. Hopefully I will be aware of that lurking compulsion tomorrow... this time in advance.
I could go through the whole day, but I will spare you. It was a time of checking armor, a day of noticing what distracted me, and when, and why. And thanks be to God, it was a day of prayer.
Prayer is the weapon, the armor, the lifeline, the prize. It is worth every battle. May we never give up the fight.