Tuesday in the First Week of Lent

by Janet Fisher

Call To Prayer

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For the past several years I have had the privilege to serve at our side altar to honor your prayer requests. This experience has expanded my spiritual horizons in ways I could not have articulated or imagined. Thank you!

It can be tough to pray when you feel like your life is careening off the tracks into a chasm. How does one climb back onto a normal path? Sometimes we doubt that God hears us. Or as I sometimes am wont to rant, “God, do I have to buy you a battery for your hearing aid?”

Prayer has many forms embracing an array of emotions — a one-word utterance, a poem, a hymn, a plea, a mantra, a rant and/or a time honored prayer. It is different for each of us — and we hear the call to prayer differently at different stages in our lives. In visiting Turkey awhile ago, I was struck by the very public call to prayer five times each day. Unless it is Sunday morning in the United States, we rarely hear church bells — another public call to prayer. In our multiethnic city, it is not unusual to come upon people setting aside time to pray: pushcart venders laying out a prayer rug, people darting into a nearby church for a noon day Mass or service, or Hasidic Jews huddling in prayer conversations on a brisk walk.

The Old Testament and the Gospel focus our attention on prayer. In Isaiah “Seek the Lord while he may be found…” is a call to prayer. The accompanying Gospel passage encourages us to strip away external theatrical flourishes and internal pomposity in communicating with God. Directness and simplicity are the hallmarks of the Lord’s Prayer. Our Book of Common Prayer offers prayers for a range of occasions.

In this Lenten season how will you acknowledge and honor your personal call to prayer?