Romans 12: 9-21 describes the characteristics of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Among other things it refers to living a life of genuine love, serving the Lord with zeal, extending hospitality to strangers, blessing your enemies, living in harmony and peace with others, and forsaking vengeance, etc.
Take time to read and reflect on these qualities. Trying to focus on living out all of these aspects can be quite overwhelming. However, many spiritual writers down through the ages have noted prayer as the cornerstone of having a life that reflects these traits.
Prayer can mean many various things to different people, and there isn’t a truly right answer that fits everyone’s need. Prayer is a two-way conversation; it opens up our hearts and souls to give and receive. It can lead, guide, and comfort us. The most important part is that it strengthens our relationship with our Lord God, and helps us to become the persons God wants us to be-- everything else is secondary.
Starting a prayer life takes effort and perseverance in our life. The main thing is to do something and try to make it a habit. Begin with something daily, no matter how small, maybe the Lord’s Prayer at a minimum. We can pray at anytime, in the shower, at meal time, in a car, get in the habit of thanking God for everyday miracles, listen and talk to God daily. At some point find the space and time to have a specific prayer period to start the spiritual practices. These spiritual practices can include prayer, Bible study, and reflection.
On your spiritual pilgrimage may you find what is needed to persevere in prayer, and in so doing be able to embody the characteristics in this passage!
Prayer, heavenly Lord, may my prayer life draw me closer to becoming the person you want to be and in the process help my life bring others closer to you! Amen. Vernon T.