By: Maggie Leonard
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Reflection–v. 5, ‘…whenever you pray…’
I love communal prayer and joining my voice with others, knowing they join me, even in my brokenness. Praying together can be a truly intimate experience. But I suspect many of us do not really tap into the depths of our hearts when we pray together. We keep it safe. We pray for things that might elicit sympathy or a kind look. We hide anxiety from our collegues. We hide anger from our neighbors or drinking from our loved ones. We hide lonliness, guilt, and failings from everyone. It would be great if we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable with others, but perhaps we should first practice being vulnerable with ourselves and God. When we pray ‘in secret,’ there is nobody but a loving and merciful God to judge us. This does not mean we get off easy. But it does allow us to become more honest about our struggles and joys when sitting in the presence of God. Actually looking at ourselves and our experiences before God might lead us to sharing with others.
Prayer God, to you I pray in secret, and you surround me with your love.