"When I came to the monastery," said Brother David, "I thought, all this structure will be really help my prayer life. I'll be able to actually do all that prayer I should be doing."
"But what they taught me...the way that the Society of Saint John the Evangelist teaches about prayer...it transformed my prayer life. They taught me that prayer is first of all a gift to us."
Early this week I was on a Diocese of New Hampshire clergy retreat exploring sabbath, led by Brother David of SSJE. And he passed on to us the gift of this recollection.
What if prayer were first of all a gift from God, instead of time when I'm trying to get God's attention, or a checkup with a stern parole officer? What if God is the initiator, and we go to prayer mostly to receive something God is excited to give us?
As brother David said to us, "If I told you I had a $50 bill for anyone who met me at the dining hall tomorrow at three-o-clock, I bet a few of you would show up!"
I know I would! Even in the times when I don't think I have much at all to bring to God in a prayer, I could at least close my mouth and open my hands to receive what He brought to me.
I could say more...but I have to go meet Someone about a gift They have for me. I've heard a rumor They have one for you too.