I have been a Christian on and off since I was 14 years old. I have prayed thousands upon thousands of prayers. Some deep and heartfelt, some pleading, some angry and demanding answers and some, I must confess, simply by routine.
I think that is why I stopped saying grace (praying, giving thanks for my food before I eat). Simply because it was a routine thing I did with no real thought, connection or even sincerity. I mean, we are hungry, we want to eat, our minds are not in that spiritual place. It’s simply easier to give thanks after, when you are, well, let’s face it, more thankful.
So I am reading about the eastern tradition of consecration. Which in many ways is just the same tradition as we have of giving thanks and blessing a meal, an event or a trip. It is the consecrating of a time or action and offering the fruits of the time or action as an offering to the divine. In many traditions it has the same words as we do in ours. But here is the kicker: in the non-christian version one of the steps is to wait for an answer. If you get no confirmation, you don’t eat, do the event or go on the trip.
Now I know, there are many Christians who walk closely with the spirit and would just say: Yea so what, what’s your point? Then again I know oh so many Christians who have never awaited an answer, especially when saying grace, when blessing a trip or a spiritual endeavour.
I think there is something here for us to take on board. If we are to walk with the spirit and if we are to be like Jesus and only say what we here the father say and do what we see the father do…. well then we need to start praying gods blessing over even the smallest action, conversation, meal, fellowship and expect an answer from the divine. If we are praying god’s blessing and then not waiting for god to actually bless it, or to accept our offering, how can we proceed with boldness and assurance that we are in the will or the initial aim of the divine? If we do not wait for the answer or even worse, don’t expect one, are we not assuming that god wants what I want? That our will is in perfect alignment with that of the divine?
I have now decided that when I ask for god’s blessing for food (which I have started doing again) or when I pray for blessing over something, I will do what I have done over all my other major decisions that I have prayed over, wait for that acceptance, the peace of god, the clarity of mind and the sign that it is ok to proceed. If we truly live in the embracing love of a living god, then we must simply expect god to answer when we pray, to accept our offerings and to interact with our daily lives through this divine spirit of love that is called “the helper”, whom is promised by scripture to guide us through our lives.
My challenge to you is, when you prayed last, what did you expect?