Continued from December 24.  Second in the Series The Twelve Days as Twelve Ways to Deepen Your Connection with God.

Prayer is universal.  At all times and in all places people have uttered some kind of prayer.  Every human heart years to awaken to the Light that radiates from the Center, Source, and Substance of all things.  We are restless vagabonds until we come home to this Light manifest in Jesus, who is, astonishingly Son of God---God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, Love who gives life to all.

Prayer is coming home--to God and to ourselves, to heaven and earth and all that fills them.  Prayer is waking up to Life itself.  But prayer's been so terribly reduced in our day.  For most, it's more like rubbing a Genii's lamp than an encounter with the Almighty, Who's aim is our glorious transformation.  

The recovery of prayer and the discovery of all you seek--God, Who permeates and pervades all creation--will require a journey.  This journey is not from one place to another; rather it's a pilgrimage into the deepest places within you where God dwells in fullness.  As scandalous as that sounds, it's a universal truth---all who've sought God and found what they were looking for will tell you that.  I once traveled farther than the Magi traveled in search of all this, only to find that what I was looking for was right beneath my nose---close as my next breath, near as the beating of my heart.  Such long distance trips are unnecessary and can even be distracting.    

The journey of the Magi across mountains and deserts, through rivers and valleys is an apt metaphor for your inner journey, a pilgrimage into God which will be every bit as challenging and wondrous.  One you can take without ever leaving home.  Like the journey of the Magi, yours begins with a single point of light breaking into the shadows that envelope you. 

The Magi "observed his star at its rising" (Matthew 2.2) and had only hints at what this sign in the skies meant.  They had no idea where it would take them and what it would do in and through them.  They only knew they had to follow it, come hell or high water.

So to begin this journey of prayer, you don't need to know anything more than that you've glimpsed a light that's awakened you.  The first step of prayer is for you to arouse your desire, even desperation, to move in its direction.

Prayer begins this way, with the humble awareness of your need for God.

Today, Christmas Day, all I must do it to look to the Light and awaken my desperation to follow it and my heart's desire to find it, come hell or high water.

AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman