By Xanthia Lewis
The other day I was thinking about the relationship we have with celebrities. We read about them, we troll the internet for photos of them. We spend our hard earned dollars to see their concerts and buy their DVDs. We feel like we know them. Yet, if we met one on the street, we’d have to admit, there is no friendship there. We are fans, not intimates.
It occurred to me that it is often the same in our spiritual walk. We read about Christ. We fill our homes with icons and crosses. We spend our hard earned dollars to go to religious conferences, buy books about the faith and the early church fathers. We even participate in the works of the church. And yet, if we met Him on the street, would we have to admit, there is no friendship there? Would we have to admit that we are fans of Christ, but not intimates?
“ . . . that I may know Him and the power of the resurrection.” (St. Paul -Philippians 3:10) The saints tell us by their examples as well as by their words that prayer is vital to this intimate knowledge of Christ. Not the shopping list of prayers we normally pray, as we tell Him what we need, how we want it, and when. Prayer must be more than just words, and standing, and prostrations. It is entering into a time of “knowing” if you will. To know Him in a very basic sense. Like the young lovers who walk hand- in-hand, absorbed in each other’s presence where words are not needed. Or like the child to gives a contented sigh as he sits quietly on his daddy’s lap. Or like the friend who sits with you during tragedy when no words can help.
I've always been a multi-tasker. It is a strength, and a weakness. A weakness because the biggest challenge for me in prayer, is to focus on one task – the task at hand. Knowing Christ. Not approaching Him with my list of details for the day, nor even worse, slipping him in to His “slot.” But allowing the prayers of the church to remind me of Who He is, and why that’s important, and then taking time to look into His eyes and “know.”
[Xanthia is the wife of JTO BLOG Author Nathan Lee Lewis]