(these are the notes I took during Hour of Power, an hour of adoration that is hosted every Monday night at 9pm on campus at St. John’s Church.)
I often wonder about the power of prayer, which gets me really deeply thinking about the magnificence of involvement and close relationship with God that every human being can participate in if only the call of God in your heart is willingly answered by you.
The capability that we have to join in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus by being a contributing member to the kingdom of God is profound and humbling. For me, to imagine the power that takes dominion over my heart every time I receive the Holy Eucharist is almost too much to handle. I immediately get the most relaxed feeling in my heart, much like the feeling I have now in the presence of the monstrance.
Though prayer forces me to recognize and admit to my tiny place in the world and my insignificance, it also paradoxically proves my significance. In fact, I find it quite profound. I am inviting the God of the universe into my heart, to be sheltered by me – and I can be still, knowing that he will gladly respond affirmatively to my invitation.
As I sit here tonight, the stress of the world seems to go away, perhaps a curse disguised as a wonderful blessing because I really should be studying, but I feel as though all will be okay.
“All will be well, though sometimes this is hard to tell, and the fight is just as frustrating as hell – all will be well.”
And I know all will be well when I can devote myself to saving a seat for God among the Grand Central Station which takes place inside my agenda every day. Or even giving him a temporary time-share of my heart is a step in the right direction. Yes, I do believe it is.
They say that prayer just “comes naturally,” and I don’t know if I agree with that. Yes, I mean it is free, it’s convenient, it is easy (at least they say it is), it is forgiving, non-exclusive, intimate, and yet all the while, it scares the hell out of us. Rather, it scares the hell out of me. Perhaps it is the immense amount of vulnerability that we open ourselves up to when we decide to truly open our hearts. Or maybe it is the fear that our prayers will be left unanswered. (Or at least sit in some dusty mail room with all of the letters to Santa from kids all over the world)… But I feel as though the first step is the hardest. Getting to point where that first prayerful thought or that first prayerful word slips out of the vice-grip of your heart and mind into the no-man’s-land that is your conscience. Regardless of the reason, it is quite an endeavor to open yourself up to the power of God.
But as the song goes, “I’ve seen dreams that move that mountains, hope that doesn’t ever end – even when the sky is falling and I’ve seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new; that’s what faith can do.”
The only thing that keeps coming to my mind right now is Tenth Avenue North “And I’ll be by your side, wherever you fall in the dead of night, whenever you call – and please don’t fight these hands that are holding you; my hands are holding you. Cause I, I love you, I want you to know, I love you, I’ll never let you go.”
The comfort that songs bring in prayer and adoration is beyond what I can fathom – it proves that you’re never alone. “I’ll be in every beat of your heart when you face the unknown, wherever you fly, this isn’t goodbye – my love will follow you, stay with you, baby you’re never alone.”
I guess I do know it in my heart that I’m never alone but it takes times like these to get to that point.
We are so blessed to live in a society in which we have the freedom to act as we desire, but the even greater freedom is the liberty we receive inherently as being children of God almighty.
In randomly opening my Bible, I came to Psalm 148:7: “Praise the Lord from the Earth, you sea monsters and all deep waters… young men and women too, old and young alike… Let them all praise the Lord’s name for His name alone is exalted.” OK, so I get it God. I open the Bible up, and you put words like those in my heart and on my lips; reminding me to be grateful.
I am grateful and thankful for the peace I find in you – the peace I’m experiencing right this very moment due to Your presence. I appreciate the feeling of love that is near tangible in my heart right now.
I thank you for the “Jesus’ in disguise” that You send my way each and every day. Throughout the life of Jesus, there were many stages that He went through: growing, learning, loving, laughing, and leading. But then there were also stages of suffering, being ridiculed, being ostracized, and being left out. The people You have placed in my life represent each of these stages and challenge me in new and different ways to meet the expectations You have laid out for me.
My prayer tonight is that my eyes can be opened to all of the ways in which You are present in my life, and to be thankful for the little moments like this when my hands are merely an agent of the words You wish to be in my heart.