Prayer is not a duty. It is not the means of gaining favor with God or demonstrating devotion. Rather, prayer is the means of making genuine contact with the Father who loves us. And the ultimate fruit of prayer is…happiness. (Note that the opening word of the Psalms is “Happy!”)
In this continuing look at the classical tradition of Christian spiritual formation we turn to the practice of prayer, particularly verbal prayer (i.e., prayer that uses words). This is where prayer starts – with words (spoken or in the silence of our mind). And the first step is learning a vocabulary of prayer, how we put to words our experience of life and our need for God (and something of the words by which God responds).
In this episode we open where the anthology of the Psalms does – with Psalm 1. In it we discover the joy of a life in connection with God and the hope it brings even amidst the inevitable hardships of life.
If you want to learn to pray, there is no better school that the Psalms.