I spent my college years reading literature and writing for my English major... I'm pretty sure I read every book, short story, poem, newspaper article, and cereal box at least twice during that time.
ADHD. A common complaint from college students (the same ones with the iPods, Gchats, texts, talking...), but I've learned to cope with it. One part of my life I'm most upset about this tendency toward distraction is my prayer life.
I love the Our Father! However, when I start with the Our Father, I'm halfway through it before my heart convinces my mind to quiet. Only then do I hear and understand the words I'm reciting, so I have to repeat it to myself.
It's no coincidence that the first part of the beautiful, God-given prayer is chock-a-block full of metaphysical thoughts, followed by the more tangible. One begets the other, and in my prayer life: they must beget beget beget in order for me to get the full force of the hit.
It would be so easy just to submit the first part as ritual. I'm grateful that the second part reminds me why I need the first.
I've typed up a little reflection on my thought process through the Our Father and I'd love to hear from those with similarities or differences in their prayer life:
Give us this day our daily bread because so many do not have it. Also, help me see the signs that the Holy Spirit is working in my life. Shame on me if I don't notice them.
And forgive us our trespasses. Oh yeah, those. I have those. Thank You so much for dying for mine. I want to always remember that You would rather die on the cross than spend eternity without me.
As we forgive those who trespass against us Oops. I need to remember that today. Please help me to remember to Love first, to forgive for Christ.
And lead us not into temptation... This part always stopped me when I was little. "Am I supposed to believe Jesus is going to lead me into temptation if I don't ask this?" I'm still slightly unclear every time I recite this. However, I always think: lead us, your people, to open our hearts enough to listen to You. If I let go of my worldly lessons and trust that you'll lead me, I will have an easier time saying no to temptation.
But deliver us from evil. You've already died for me, so You're just waiting for me to follow you to heaven. Deliver my brothers and sisters from the devil's works on Earth so we can be delivered from our tendencies to follow him. True delivery from that fall means a FedEx to heaven.
Amen. Thank you.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come (please!) thy will be done (please help me get there!) on Earth as it is in heaven (please! I want to help!)...