The Peura Family

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Zachary Peura
7 Months

Called to Prayer
October 18, 1999
Kristin Peura

In solitude I listen to the sounds of the world bustling around me - trucks rushing past, the phone ringing in the distance or the murmuring of people passing through the narthex. But occasionally it is my own heart I hear as God whispers to me from eternity and quiets the hurly-burliness of my world.

So I pray.

Sometimes prayer is conscious. Most often it is intentional and a choice I make. I sit quietly or kneel, speaking words in my mind to a mothering God on whose breast I lay my face. At other times, whispers of my heart weep their way to the surface and I am stripped of all pretensions. Layer after layer peals from my soul until who I really am at my core surfaces. I am unprotected and vulnerable, naked before my heavenly father.

Two years ago, prayer was an escape from the reality of cancer when I ferreted out a healing place in which to hide. Out of darkness, light dawned. Out of disbelief, faith blossomed. Out of fear, healing began. And in letting go, love grew.

Who would have thought that exposing the past could open the door of compassion? Who could have known that in the doing of it, prayer would become the bridge to new life? Who but Jesus Christ steps into the moccasins I still wear to this day to carry me when I walk places I should not go? Who but Jesus Christ clothes me with his righteousness, granting me the Father's forgiveness each time I pray?

But prayer in solitude, though private and powerful, is only part of the answer. The whole of it seems to reside only on the cross, for if prayer of the heart is its vertical aspect, then prayer in fellowship with others is its horizontal beam. So we pray. We pray together, knowing that we are the body of Christ. Here. In this place. We clasp hands in prayer and in so doing, open the compassionate arms of Jesus Christ to those we name with our lips and in our hearts.

We are gifted, you and I, to differing degrees it is true, but gifted all the same. We are called to prayer because we need it. For life. For faith. For our souls. We thrive in our inadequate conversations with God not because we speak to him, but because he speaks in us. Let us listen. Quietly. Compassionately. Prayerfully. Always.