What is Prayer?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

Being an introvert, I must find place and times where I can be apart. For this reason, I often pray in the early morning when quiet time of the day. I have found that no matter where I find myself, I will often hear a bird welcoming the new day. Hearing a bird singing when you wake up in Alaska or the Rocky Mountains or outside of London makes you realize how small the world.

As I began my prayer this morning feeling exhausted even after my English Breakfast tea, I heard the song of a bird outside the window. While the choir sang Kyrie Eleison, my thoughts turned to the joy expressed in the bird's song. The story of the woman anointing Jesus' feet was overshadowed by the thought of prayer as that bird's song. There is no theology or deep exegetical meaning behind the song but simply the heartfelt joy of a new day proclaimed for all to hear.

That is when the scriptures suddenly came alive as God spoke through the song to reveal the gospel seen. Here was a Pharisee who opened his home to Jesus so that he could hear the Word of God. This is how I often approach prayer. I open my mind to welcome God so that Jesus can bring me some new insight.

The woman, like the bird, on the other hand is simply there to praise God's goodness and grace. There is no expectation but rather a humble expression of gratitude. It was then I realized that prayer is about more than opening our mind to listen but it is also about opening our hearts with love toward God. This is adoration not with words but with humble intention and loving devotion directed to Jesus.

True prayer is when we open both our hearts and our minds to the one who continually blesses us with more than we often realize. I pray that my heart may join with the bird as I wonder with joy at the blessings of a new day.

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