'Notice that all of the great liturgical prayers of the churches end with the same phrase: "through Christ our Lord, Amen." We do not pray to Christ; we pray through Christ. Or even more precisely, Christ prays through us. We are always and forever the conduits, the instruments, the tuning forks, the receiver stations. We slowly learn the right frequencies that pick up the signal of God.' ~Richard Rohr
We often talk about praying to God or praying to Jesus. Somehow if we pray hard enough our prayer flies straight to Jesus and that's all we have to do. But it is totally different to say that prayer is praying through Jesus or that Jesus prays through us. This is very comforting when we find prayer difficult or when our energy levels are low. Like a receiver, an instrument or a tuning fork, all we have to do is be open and let God work through us.
On Monday (May 18th) churches reopened as places for personal prayer (This is the current situation in Ireland). This is great news for sure. This is part of a phased plan towards being able to celebrate the sacraments with a congregation at a later date. There will be one door for entry and one for exit, with hand sanitisers on entry and exit. We know that for many people their local church is a place of comfort and solace. It is a place where they can pray be still, reflect, give thanks or light a candle.
It is also important to say that while churches may be reopening as places of personal prayer, there is no pressure whatsoever to go there for now. If you prefer to stay away for now that's absolutely fine. When we pray we can pray almost anywhere. It might be in a favourite part of your home, maybe your favourite spot in your garden or maybe it might be as you go for a walk outdoors. We believe God is present everywhere and whenever we create a prayer moment we are in a good place.
Thought For The Week is updated each Monday