“Let’s try again,” I said, starting the music and extending my hands with a hopeful smile. Who knew that it would be so hard for a class of first graders to agree together on clapping the beat of a simple song? For some, the process was as natural as breathing, but not for everyone. By watching their classmates (and with one eye on my own desperately exaggerated movements), they slowly begin to feel the rhythm of the music that was filling our classroom, and they relaxed into it as their clapping fell into a unified cadence with the group. Success!
I wonder if this is how we learn to pray. At times, I’ve found myself listening for the Spirit to call me into daily fellowship. Words bubbled to my lips because the concern or the need was right there, close to the surface. However, there have been wordless seasons when, barely knowing the difference between bread and a stone, I didn’t trust myself to ask.
This year, COVID-19 blew my schedule out of the water. I stopped doing everything I had become accustomed to, and started doing different things at different times, and somehow, when all the pieces landed, it took me a while to fit the prayer piece back in place. I needed to discover, once again, A Rhythm of Prayer, a point of faithful connection with God in all the ebb and flow of this following life.
This time, for me, it began with simply showing up, committing myself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from myself. From there, I began listening for other voices–my good husband’s, the faithful prayer warriors at the church I call home. Then, I found A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, Sarah Bessey’s collection of prayers and meditations, written by a choir of faith-singing women.
Featuring the voices of Amena Brown, Barbara Brown Taylor, Micha Boyett, Marlena Graves, Alia Joy, and other women of faith, the book was an invitation to a circle of prayer, both welcoming and solid. I could hear the cadence of faithfulness and measured trust in a powerful God who listens and nods along:
God beyond the number line, the hourglass.
Beyond moons that wax and wane and waves that push and pull along our fragile ground. …beyond days and weeks and months, uncontained by our twenty-four hours, free of our borders and yet still within them.”
I was reminded that prayer is listening as well as talking, and that, heard in the pages of Truth, “God’s voice is melody and bass lines and whisper and thunder and grace.”
Lean into the Rhythm of Prayer
Resting in the solid truth of your own belovedness, lean into the rhythm of prayer.
Listen for it.
Hear it calling you into intercession for our broken world, into tears for the wounded you know, and prayers of compassion for those you don’t know.
Lean into the rhythm of grace and repent, confess, lament, rejoice, examine your heart in the presence of God and know that you are heard, and you are loved.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty,
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, simply click on the title, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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