In my reading the other day I came across this quote by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “The coins of prayer bear the image of God’s dreams and wishes for fear-haunted man.”
I really like this quote because it puts everything in the right perspective. When I struggle in prayer – which I often do – it generally centers around a vague sense that I’m not “doing” prayer the right way. I’m so distracted. I can’t seem to focus on the particular intention I brought to prayer. Is that God’s presence I sense or just wishful thinking?
What this quote says to me is that all of that distracting “stuff” has NOTHING to do with God! That’s me trying to get out of my own way. But every so often, when I have this sudden splash of joy or insight or just a sense that I can see more clearly – well, there’s God moving about within the depths of my being?
How do you define prayer? How do you pray?