Not in the Mood
You need to pick up the cleaning or mop the floor or do some homework or write a note to say thanks or…any one of ten or more different things that we need to do in our daily lives. Thing is…you just are not in the mood. Has that ever happened to you?
Right now, as we approach Christmas and having just celebrated the Winter Solstice, many are complaining about the lack of cold weather. The warmer climates are causing them to say “Bah Humbug!” to putting up decorations and doing shopping. Because it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas or winter, they simply are not in the mood.
Sometimes in our spiritual journey we encounter that detour called “Not in the Mood”. Why bother to pray? Most of us do not walk around concerned only with our spiritual practices 24/7. What happens when the climate of our lives leads us to not be in the mood?
Maybe we need to revisit what many people consider the benefits of prayer to be. First, many believe it releases or calls the Holy Spirit or a divine spirit to them. Following along that same line, is the concept that prayer leads us to be of spiritual service. Those who participate in meditative prayers believe prayer empowers them and leads them to better spiritual, emotional, and physical health.
One of the best things I like about prayer is the focus it can ring to my life. And that leads to another benefit, that of growth. When someone puts prayer first and then follows what they believe to be an answer to prayer, they grow – again spiritually, emotionally, and in maturity.
Prayer also brings about good works, the spread of compassion and charity one to another. This can also result in healing and acceptance of the stages and seasons of life. Most importantly, prayer helps us overcome difficulties and tragic circumstances. Whether it is personal prayer or corporate prayer, it all has merit.
So the next time you think you are just not in the mood to pray, realize that is the very time that you need it the most. We don’t need long, drawn-out prayers nor do we need to have a degree in theology to pray. All we really need is a caring heart and a thirst for being close to He/She to whom we offer pray. Earlier this year I mentioned a book entitled “Ask, Thank, Tell” in our talk about stewardship. The book by the Lutheran minister Charles Lane offers great insight not only into stewardship of our spiritual and religious communities but also our prayer life.
Not in the mood? Ask for a better attitude. Then give thanks for all you have, even if it isn’t that much. Finally, tell He/She to whom you are praying about your day, your thoughts, your concerns. I think you will discover that while your overall situation may not radically change, your mood will. Mother Teresa once said “Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” Prayer is a walk by which we continue our living.