Friday, September 22, 2017


Hi There!

So, I'll bet over these almost  fifty years as a pastor

I have said " Let us pray" at least a million times.

So, "Let us pray."

One million one and counting.

But, wait a minute.

Just what is prayer anyway?

Actually, it's good to check that out once in awhile.

Prayer, like patriotism, friendship, watching TV, driving, is so routine

we take it for granted that we know what we are doing.

Happily, pushing the refresh button every once in awhile does just that -

freshens things up, helps us pray again for the first time.

There are all sorts, levels, and forms of prayer.

Most widely understood, though, prayer is a

                                                        UNITIVE PRESENCE.

God is so present to us

and we are so present to God,

so really and openly and fully so,

that the presence is actually unitive.

The best analogy I know for prayer is the presence, the union of lovers.

Real lovers are so present to each other that they truly are united, they are one.

They can make love so passionately that the house shakes, together go to the supper market,

deal with in-laws, have supper,  and it's all variations of their being so fully present to each other

that they are genuinely united. They experience a

                                                         UNITIVE PRESENCE.

In prayer, it's pretty much  the same.

As with lovers, the modes, manners, and forms vary.

Each, though, is also an "instance," a living out of a presence so total that it is a union.

What's that look like out here on the street of everyday living?

Well, here are a few of numberless "instances" of the presence that is union:

                        - We're stuck in traffic, put on hold,  picked the wrong line at the supermarket.

                           Rather than  waste life being agitated, we use the pause

                            to join God in loving support for

                                                    - lonely, older people

                                                    - sexually abused children

                                                     - unemployed breadwinners

                                                     - soldiers in combat

                                                     - women giving birth.

                           - We savor every morsel of dinner, every sip of wine,

                              sharing the pleasure with our God Lover.

                            - Somebody is bugging the living heck out of us.

                               We and our  Lover God face it together,

                               straight on, and together work out a response.

                             - We see someone who fires up all eight cylinders of our libido.

                                We and our God Lover rejoice in the body beauty and keep going.

                                Together we penetrate all the way in to the one inside that skin and flesh.

                                We hold that one with the "sizzler" body in the purity of God's love.

                                We don't stop off at lust,

                                 but admiringly move right on to love for such a masterpiece..

                                 ( One of my favorite responses at these times is to say to God, " Nice work!!" ).

                               - The two of us put our love to work for those who need help.

                                  We are together as one

                                                             - joining in at Habitat For Humanity

                                                             - becomes a Big Brother/Sister

                                                             - campaigning for environmental justice,

                                                                a reformed penal process,

                                                                a  "living, saving family wage"

                                    - We never shower alone. We use that wonderful experience

                                       with our Lover God to

                                                               - muse, to think things through

                                                               - sing our souls out

                                                               - plan next year's vacation

                                                               - do a replay of the day

                                                               - let all sorts of things have a chance

                                                                 to come upstairs from our subconscious basement

                                         - Sometimes we are chatty

                                                                 - we blow off steam

                                                                 - pour out gratitude

                                                                 - give voice to our enthusiasm

                                                                 - feel free to B&M ( bitch & moan)

                                                                 - ask for help

                                            - Sometimes we just snuggle up

                                              and waft into wordless, imageless oneness,

                                              lost in the Mysterium Tremendum.

We "say our prayers" when we are little kids.

We join heart and voice with others in communal prayer.

As we grow in grace, it's a lot less words

and a lot more quiet togetherness

in how we are and what we do - lovers in

                                                         UNITIVE PRESENCE.

No matter the mode, manner or form,

we get to"pray without easing." ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ).

So, I pray that we all we all pray simply, deeply,

letting ourselves fall into our Lover God

and letting our Lover God fall into us.

As always, it's wonderful to be with you.

I thank you for that.

See you next week.

Holding each and everyone of you "prayerfully" in

God's Dear Love,

     John Frank

Some Meditation Markers:

- " Pray always,"
                       (Ephesians 6:18 )

- " I have come to drag you out of yourself and take you into my heart.

    I have come to bring out the beauty  you never knew you had,

    and lift you like a prayer to the sky."
                                                    ( Rumi )

- "To enter the gaze of the Holy is never to be the same                  
                                                                          ( Richard Foster )

- "Continue in prayer..."
                             ( Colossians 4:2 )

- "The Ego is a veil between humans and God.

    In prayer all are equal."
                                     ( Rumi )

- "For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether."
                                                                                                         ( Gibran )

- "One prays well who is so absorbed with God that one does not know he is praying."
                                                                                                                           (   Francis De Sales )