In Centering Prayer, we are taught to “consent to the presence and action of God within.” Sometimes I can’t help myself though. I want to pray to God as a powerful presence out there who can fix things for me, for us.
Where is God? Is God somewhere else, in heaven perhaps? Where should I direct my prayers? It seems strange or even a bit delusional to pray to God in me, as if I somehow have the capacity to answer my own prayers. And yet, when I pray to God “out there” it feels wrong. So where is God?
This morning I found myself pondering this question. Is God out there, or in me? For a brief moment, I had the experience, the insight, that the answer is yes. Both. God is so much more than me or you or even us. God is the source of life and love and creation. And yet, somehow, we are also a part of that. We are not creatures apart from God but rather a part of what God is doing, a part of what God is creating.
God is doing something with you. When you consent, as in Centering Prayer, to the presence and action of God within, you are choosing to participate in what God is doing in you, with you, for you, and through you for the world. I find that comforting.
Lent is a season of consenting to God, repenting to God, and surrendering to God, so that we might be better able to know the presence and action of God. Freedom, abundant life, peace, grace, forgiveness, health, reconciliation, purpose, guidance, strength, love. We pray for all these things. And the wonder that Jesus reveals to us is that we are a part of what God is doing to answer these prayers.
You are loved. You are worthy. You are a part of God’s purpose.
We are loved. We are worthy. We are a part of what God is doing. God is present in us, among us, for us, and through us for the world.