Do you ever find it hard to pray? Sometimes it can seem like nothing is happening or that no one is listening.
And yet there is still an invitation there from God to remain faithful and to keep praying. God of course has made a commitment to you, and with every breath you take, God fulfills that commitment. How does God do this? Basically, by giving you life, by providing you with friends and family to help you flourish, and also by encountering you in prayer.
In turn, your commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
That fidelity is the reason that things are able to happen in prayer. If you don’t show up to prayer, then you can be assured that nothing is going to happen. It’s something like being a birdwatcher. The birds are always there but sometimes they’re hard to see. The good birdwatcher knows that he or she has to show up, be patient, and sometimes use those binoculars to see what’s going on.
Patience and careful attention has a payoff in both birdwatching and prayer. Witnessing a bluebird flit across the sky after hours of waiting will fill your soul. And the same will happen when you are are consoled by God’s presence during prayer. So, be faithful and be patient—especially during those quiet periods.