Itchy feet (thinking (or not) about prayer)

This month, we talking about talking with God (commonly known as praying). Today, Rich Dixon keeps us thinking about that.

I spent 35 years of my life “teaching.”

I use quotes because much of what a classroom teacher does looks more like herding. Show up on time. Put your homework there. Raise your hand – please. No running.

And teaching – what does that mean? The point of school isn’t teaching, it’s learning. My colleagues and I had an expression: Talking isn’t teaching, and listening isn’t learning.

It’s a reminder to consider what you’re actually trying to accomplish.

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I thought about this when Jon asked my thoughts about prayer.

Honestly, I’m horrible at prayer. I try, but often my mind wanders. I’ll begin an earnest conversation with Jesus and realize I’ve drifted to baseball or weather or why my foot itches. I re-center and now the conversation’s about why my mind wandered.

For me, anyway, talking isn’t praying. Frankly, I’m mostly not interested in presenting a list of my wants. What I really want to accomplish – what I need – is to hear His voice.

I find it happens best on my bike. I often begin by thinking about something in Jesus’ instructions, ”This, then, is how you should pray:”

So perhaps I’ll think about your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I’ll try to hold that idea in my mind (until my foot itches) and ask Jesus to show me what it means in the context of the FREEDOM TOUR and other areas of life.

If I do this over time and pay attention, sometimes patterns appear. Conversations, nudges from scripture, articles and ideas from past teachings, seem to coalesce around a particular notion. And if I dig in and pursue, a sense of direction materializes.

Honestly, I’d prefer a booming voice or clear skywriting, but I believe it’s how infinite God guides my steps.

I don’t know how it works, but I’m grateful.