Author: Bill Roy (Florida, US)
When I was a young Christian, I understood 1 Thessalonians 5:17 literally: we should spend every moment speaking to God. I was puzzled by the thought of praying continually, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At that time, I found prayer illusive; it did not satisfy the need I had for a deeper relationship with God. Prayer seemed to be a one-way conversation. I talked; God listened, but did not participate. Reading and discussing the subject led me in many directions, but the words of my prayers still seemed to bounce off the ceiling.
Then on a solo nine-day canoe trip through the Florida Everglades, I looked up at the sky and saw a sunset spilling onto the surface of the still water. It was the third day of the trip, and I had not encountered another human being. So I was startled to hear my own voice utter aloud, ‘Wow!’ It was my shortest and perhaps my most honest prayer. Now I understand that an appropriate offering to God is gratitude not just in words, but as deep appreciation for a flower, a landscape, another human being, a perfect mathematical equation, music that reaches deep down into my being—all of creation.
Prayer: Dear God, create in me a grateful heart. Amen