“Happy Easter,” was said often to me last Sunday. I responded the same “Happy Easter” to so many. Yet another greeting stands out. One who paused at the door and made a promise to pray for me every day during this interim. That promise reminded me of my own need for such prayer and my own need to pray.
As he left, I recalled a Native American, Black Elk, who liked to pray in four directions. He would face South and recall the warmth that came from that direction and notice the people there. He would face East and the rising sun and think of new beginnings and the people there. He would face West and the setting sun and think of the limits of time and the people there. He would face North and think of the harsh weather that blew in and think of hardships and challenges that lay ahead and the people there. These things he prayed.
I find myself needing a structure like that. Prayer is no petty substitute for doing the right thing; not a meaningless show of piety excusing some miscarriage of justice. Rather, it is a posture of humility confessing “I could be wrong.” Prayer opens us to a gathering of losing options and an acknowledgement of my limits. Prayer prepares us for what is ahead—a searching for pastor and faithful living in the meantime.
Thank you for your prayers for me. ~ Jim England