How Do You Experience Prayer?
by Phillip Kroh
Happy new year. This week I am writing talk about the last in four categories of spiritual practice or potential means of spiritual growth, tradition, scripture, reason, and experience. My offering this week for a spiritual discipline in the vein of experience is a personal one, something that I came up with on my own while improvising on similar practices. My offering this week is a type of meditation or prayer that I call consent meditation. It is straightforwardly focused on two things, first cultivating an attitude of prayer in whatever way works best and second focusing my mind and will on offering consent to Christ and God to do what is Good.
This practice developed when considering how and what I should pray about and/or for.
Praying for something has always felt a bit like wishing with a genie, I may have a solid idea of what I think I am wanting and asking for but oftentimes when we get what we want we find out it isn’t what we thought it would be. Because of my desire to not pray for something that isn’t Good, for a long time the only thing I would pray for is for the wisdom to know what to pray for. But since waiting for perfect wisdom is something of a ridiculous notion, I decided the safest and surest option was to simply make myself mentally and willfully open to God and Christ, assuming that my consent is meaningful which I suspect it may be. As a result, I ended up with consent meditation or prayer where I don’t really pray to God per say, but instead attempt to maintain an attitude of consent so that God and Christ can do with my permission what they will, in effect handing off the need for perfect wisdom and making myself the object of change instead of the agent seeking to cause it through prayer.
Does anything come of the practice? I am unsure. But this week I offer it as a practice that focuses on humbling myself before God and Christ and being open to transformation without having specific ideas myself regarding what kind of transformation is desirable. I can only hope it leads towards the Good.