Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I read a reflection this week of the life and routines of Fred Rogers. He was an important part of my childhood as he was to many. The person shared about him and said, "Everything Fred Rogers did was a prelude to- or an outcome of- prayer". She noted how he started his daily routine with prayer and continued it throughout the day during each of his activities.
He lived these words from 1 Thessalonians in a way that can guide us as well. The essence of prayer is relationships, how we connect with God and those around us. Sometimes it is hard to find the words or find the time to stop and pray. Mr. Rogers is one example of how we can continue to pray through each part of our daily rhythm. For me prayer is a conversation with God, sometimes listening, sometimes sharing.
What does prayer throughout your day look like? Are you still in a quiet place? Are you taking deep breathes in a loud, chaotic room? Are you driving down the street soaking in what's around you?
A few years ago, Fred Rogers have the invocation at Boston University's graduation. Here are some of the things he shared with God... what will you share with God today?
Dear God, please inspire our hearts to come ever closer to You. We pray for those who know us and accept us as we are. Those people who encourage us to see what's really fine in life.
We pray for all the people of Your world, our sisters and brothers whose names we may not know but whose lives are ultimately previous in Your sight. With all our hearts, we pray for all of your children everywhere.
And finally we offer our strengths and weaknesses, our joys and our sorrows to your never-ending care. Help us remember all through our lives that we never need to do difficult things alone, that your presence is simply for the asking and our ultimate future is assured by your unselfish love. In our deepest gratitude we offer this prayer. Amen.