“WE ALL PRAY whether we think of it as praying or not.” Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words, p. 320. HarperSanFranciscon.
Buechner reminds us that the sigh that automatically leaps from our body when we see beauty, art, music, mouth-watering comfort food, old friends are the thanks, wow prayers that Anne Lamott has written about. (Help, Thanks, Wow) There is something inside of us, the God in us, the Christ in us, the Spirit within us, that cannot help but open our minds back to a connection we came from. This is another word for prayer, a connection to the place from which we came.
Buechner also reminds us of all the stories in the New Testament about how God lets us know that persistence in prayer can make a difference in our lives. The Hound of Heaven is in pursuit of us and we are to follow the example. If nothing else, we are also following C S Lewis’ advice to “act as if” we believe in that power greater than ourselves and eventually something happens. 12 step groups put it more simply, “fake it, till you make it.”
Buechner also suggests that even if we consider prayer as talking to ourselves, it is not a bad idea. It can be not unlike the Ignatian examen where we consider what is happening in our life. We review our life and learn insights that we might never have known if we had not stopped to consider where we need help and which path might be better. We soon learn that it is most often on the road less traveled, which of course leads to many more prayers.