This will be fast, since I want to go to bed soon. Last night, I had a hard time sleeping. My mind was rushing with worry, anxiety, resentments, low self-esteem, and who knows what else. And so I got up in the middle of the night and did a daily quiet time. I’m currently reading the apocalyptic book of II Esdras, which I may discuss more in the future.
One thing that made my prayer last night different from many of my other prayer sessions is that I actually felt like I was with someone else. Usually, I feel as if I’m talking to myself (or, more accurately, preaching to myself). Last night, however, it seemed like I was enjoying God’s company.
But I also realized that prayer is actually a place to exercise certain virtues. I often beat myself up for not having enough faith, hope, love, or humility. Yet, those are things that I exercise just by praying! Even if my prayers can be rather lame, I’m acknowledging when I do them that God exists and cares about what I have to say (faith). I pray so things will get better, or so God will at least get me through my difficult times (hope). I desire to spend time with God and appreciate who he is (love). And I confess that I have a hard time making it through life on my own (humility).
Notice what I didn’t say: I didn’t say that I try to have faith, hope, love, and humility in my prayers. I’m saying that the act of prayer itself involves faith, hope, love, and humility.