Not a lot of people pray these days. To my sorrow, that includes many self-nominated Christians of every denomination, including mine. I understand some of the reasons. Our lives have never before been as cluttered as they are today. The world around us presents us with a multitude of distractions, some seemingly so imperative that they demand our immediate and absolute attention and force all other considerations from our minds. We reach the end of the typical day weary in body, mind, and spirit.
The irony here is that prayer is one of the great refreshments to the weary mind and soul. (You’ll still need to catch a good night’s sleep to restore your body.) Prayer relaxes and refocuses the mind. It salves the hurts of the day. It restores hope. What else is there that can do all that at zero cost?
This year of Our Lord 2022 will be a momentous one for these United States. Enormous events, the consequences of decisions made by millions, will impinge upon us. The nation might go down in flames…or it might rise renewed from its agonies of the two years behind us, and return to the values and principles upon which it was founded. The likelihoods seem about equal.
Prayer could help. Prayer has power.
A marvelous scene in Anthony Hopkins’s movie Shadowlands is relevant here. Immediately after the death of his wife Joy, one of C. S. Lewis’s academic colleagues says to him that “Christopher can scoff, Jack, but I know how hard you’ve been praying; and now God is answering your prayers.”
Lewis, brilliantly portrayed by Hopkins, replies in a truly piercing fashion:
“That’s not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”
We need to be changed. We need to be clear of mind, stout of heart, and spiritually braced for the trials that we must undergo if we are to rescue our nation from a terrible fate.
And prayer can help with all of it.
All my best,