As we begin a new academic and working year after the summer holidays, it would be good to reflect on the importance of daily prayer in
our lives. It is as essential to our life with God and others, as breathing is to our physical lives. I share some thoughts on prayer from the lives of others, for your reflection.
One form of prayer
that St. Teresa of Avila used was simply to stand reverently and silently in the Lord’s presence. Recommending this method of prayer to others she wrote: Imagine the Lord himself at your side…Stay with this good friend
as long as you can…You need not be concerned about conversing.
In her book from Union Square to Rome, the great social worker Dorothy Day describes an episode
in her childhood that had a deep impact on her life. I went up to Kathryn’s to call on her to come out to play. There was no one on the porch…I burst in …In the front room Mrs. Barrett
was on her knees …. She turned to tell me that Kathryn and all the children had all gone to the store and went on with her praying. And I felt a warm burst of love toward Mrs. Barrett. How might we use our daily lives as
the settings for our prayers? By raising our eyes to heaven or occasionally speaking out loud?
I am reminded also of what Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: When I marched with Dr. King in Selma, I felt
as if my legs were praying.