Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Leaning Into Lent: Day 13—Bouncing Prayers and Holy Missiles

Day 13. Not that I'm superstitious. I'm more into super-natural than stitious—Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven—and all that. But when I’m doing my Holy Lent praying for the church, peace in the world, healing and mercy for people who need it and nothing supernatural or anything else that I can see seems to happen—in other words, when it seems as if, in the words of this morning’s Psalm: 
my prayer returned empty to my bosom (Ps 35.14)
…I wonder. Which reminds me of a line from a Ragamuffin Band song I have on a cassette somewhere called Bouncing Off the Ceiling: 
Sometimes I get the feeling 
My prayers bounce right off the ceiling  
And they spin around the room with me  
And they never get to you. (Mark Robertson)
Which brings me back to Lent leaning self examination. If my prayers seem to be bouncing off the the ceiling, spinning around the room and returning empty to my bosom, is there something in me off of which they are bouncing? I know any problems will be at my end. Have I suspended a ceiling of unconfessed sin, unbelief, unforgiveness, bitterness between God and me? I know that it is possible that God might be saying, “No” to my request, or “Wait.” I know that a disciplined observance of Lent requires that I keep on repenting, fasting, almsgiving, reading and meditating on God’s word, anyway. After all, the goal is not answers, but a closer relationship and communion with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The song continues: 
And though my head is reeling I will still go on believing 
They'll fly like holy missiles and tear a hole right through the roof. 
…so I go on believing in and hoping for supernatural holy missiles and holes through the roof. So can you. 
Let us strive to know the Lord; • his appearing is as sure as the sunrise. He will come to us like the showers, • like the spring rains that water the earth. 
( A Song of Humility, Hosea 6.1-6, from CofE Morning Prayer)