“The ‘matter’ of prayer is supplied by the world…” – John A. T. Robinson
We often see prayer as an act relegated to our time alone, in the quiet, away from the “world”. Indeed this time is of great importance (see my last post) but in and of itself it does not represent the fullness of what prayer can, and perhaps should, be.
By interacting with the “other” around us we interact with the divine, we experience, both through giving and receiving, the love of a God that is Love.
If prayer is to be a time of our interaction, our conversation, and our relationship with the divine, then indeed prayer is experienced through communion with those around us.
Time in solitude is necessary and good but there is a tendency for solitude to disengage us, to impede our willingness to participate in the world around us. At times we idealize and stereotype in potentially harmful ways when we do not have the other to ground us, to bring us back into the reality of the world we exist in.
Taking on prayer as a permanent posture towards the world (contemplative prayer) allows you to be continually present with those around you.
Present to the depth of living.
“Prayer is openness to the ground of our being; and in it ‘the readiness is all’.” – John A. T. Robinson