Prayer is less a skill and more of an art. You don’t learn to pray by reading a manual on prayer any more than you learn to ride a bike by reading an instruction manual that might have come with it when you purchased it. We learn to pray by being around those who pray. We hear their words and feel their emotion. When we are very young or new to the faith we often parrot the words of other prayers until we can find words of our own. That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled across a recently released prayer journal kept by Flannery O’Connor. Journals like this one allow us to pray alongside people that were seeking God before many of us were even born. I have decided to document my journey through this process in case you also want to pray with Flannery.
Please help me to get down under things and find where You are.
This short phrase from the opening entry we have in O’Connor’s journal is beautiful and a good reminder that God is all around us in the people and the things He has created. Sometimes our hectic pace of life hides beauty from our eyes. Behind each person, regardless of their behavior, is a glimpse of the God who created them. Each gust of wind, drop of rain, and lazy cloud are ours to enjoy. I pray with Flannery that I will indeed be able to get down under things and find where God is today.
Excerpt from A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor