It is a well known fact that people "find religion" in times of crisis. I have been thinking about that after a Facebook post which asked whether current events are what it would take to bring the nation back to God. I kinda wondered what that meant. What does it mean to be brought back to God?
Lent is, of course, about being brought back to God. We work on our return. This year, the unexpected turn of events, is leading us to a different sort of journey. It will be a journey which relies on less externals and more of the basics of life. Perhaps that is how we can view returning to God, as finding the basics of life.
So, what are you praying for? No doubt all of us wish for some sort of miracle, for the safety of our loved ones, for the health of our elders.... the list is long. But that is the point, whilst it is real, whilst we should hold these things before God, we have to be careful that our prayer does not become a laundry list of demands. I have pasted two scenes from the movie "Bruce Almighty" below.
In the first Bruce is dealing with the laundry list of prayers as he takes on the responsibility for being God. In the second, Morgan Freeman invites him to "be the miracle". You might want to watch them if you have time. This is the point of prayer, to learn to be the miracle as well as to ask for the miracle. Prayer pulls us in ever closer to the heart of God and, in doing so, teaches us to be people of God. Yes, we are called to pray for others and for our world but we are always, always called to conversation with God so that our difficult questions can rest, at least somewhat, in arms which have cradled us from before our birth.