The Taser's Edge


Thursdays with Mr. T
August 14, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The last several weeks have been good ones for me, spiritually speaking.  My personal prayer life has been the best it has ever been (and I think I actually mean ever), and I have begun journaling again.  The secret is not to let myself replace journaling with writing for any audience other than myself.

 

I never know what happened to cause my spiritual life to make an upturn.  Is it something that I started, or restarted, doing?  For instance, is it because I returned to memorizing Scripture?  (I still need to work on that particular discipline.)  Or is it that I could not progress further into the heart of God until He called me deeper?

 

The latter possibility is partially my impression right now.  I recall that I prayed along the lines of, “God, would you invite me deeper into your courts, because I don’t know how to come in any further otherwise.”  I cannot recall whether I prayed that prayer before or after this new awakening began.  Did God call me deeper into His courts by drawing that prayer through me?

 

———

 

One of the best discoveries of this new awakening has been a better incorporation of the Lord’s Prayer.  Every time that I have read the Lord’s Prayer in Scripture, it has been confusing.  How is this a useful answer to the disciples who have asked Christ to teach them to pray?  There are books out there written on the subject.  I have been in several churches where it is prayed weekly.  Duke even offers a semester-long course titled “The Lord’s Prayer.”  And while I have always wanted it to be special and have always felt it to be mysteriously meaningful, it was always in an esoteric sense until I met T.

 

T, Mr. T to be proper about it, enjoys pastoral visits.  When I arrive in his room, he is always hungry to hear the Word, and when I leave him I am always wishing that I knew the Psalms better (a life-long project if there ever was one).  What has been the most special about those times is the part in which it is not just me speaking to, or reading to, (or singing to,) or praying for him.  It is at the end of our visits, when we worship God together in the only common language we have yet found—The Lord’s Prayer, the version which retains the “thy”s and “trespasses” rather than the “you”s and “debts.”  We pray together, an old man lying on his back in a nursing room bed, and a young man sitting beside him.  When I started incorporating the Lord’s Prayer into my daily prayer, it was the direct result of my Thursdays with Mr. T. 

 

This is how I have used it, and how you may want to try it:

1. Pray slowly through the words, one thought at a time.  How much thought?  A mouthful.  (And mouth sizes vary.)  After you have a mouthful, suck out all the juices.  Picture it, breathe it, take it in and smell it with the roof of your mouth.  Then chew it, swallow it deep into yourself.  2. Take another bite.

 

For me, it’s a good getting-things-back-into-proper-perspective prayer.  I try to do it as I begin praying each day.  And it can be done in fifteen seconds or (theoretically) 100 years.


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