Prayer and Patience

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I had the opportunity to attend a prayer retreat this past week at the Benedictine Abbey in Atchison, Kansas.   The original plan was for four colleagues to gather in a spiritual retreat using some of the Abbey’s facilities.  But due to the weather the other three friends couldn’t make it.  I would have then headed home but the same weather systems that went through the area kept me from heading home.  So what started as a group retreat turned into a private retreat.  I spent the time studying and attending three times of prayer with the monks at the Abbey.

At first I felt impatient with being pinned down by the weather.  But as I attended prayer with the the monks I noticed some things about the wonderful atmosphere of the prayer times.  The residents of the monastery keep the same prayer times week after week and year after year.  I noticed that though I am sure they’d said the same prayer hundreds of times they prayed with deliberate but intense patience and cadence.  They were never in a hurry.  The prayer time never dragged but it was never rushed.  It was clear that prayer was a deep part of their lives.  Those times of prayer and eating meals with the monks this week was a gift from God!

This caused me to think that being snowed in allowed me to learn some things about letting go and letting God be in charge.  It also is a good reminder of the value of regular and serious prayer as a focus of our walk with Christ.