In something that I was reading the other day, I happened upon the author suggesting ways that God works with us in prayer. Not unusually, I had a number of reactions. The first is that we should never assume to understand much about how God works, with or without us.
That’s always my first reaction to someone asserting ideas about How God Works. My continuing experience is that it’s way beyond our understanding, and our assertions probably make as much sense as when my daughter explained to me that the way streetlights work is that a very, very small man sits inside the streetlight and has a go at making things orderly around him.
On a nearly daily basis, in fact, I even question why I try to write things down on this blog, seeing as how beyond our comprehension the understanding of God is.
But then I usually settle down and have a go at thinking it over. What do I think? I think. Anything in the files on such a topic? Given that I’ve had visions for most of my lifetime, and that, in spite of suggestions otherwise, I have never written anything down, my files are something of a mess.
I have to remember things. And I’m getting to that age when remembering things is something akin to an Olympic sport. My name. Check. My age. I’ve never kept that information close to hand, but I’m willing to make a suggestion. What appointments do I have today? That’s what calendars are for. Etc.
So I rummaged around through my thoughts, looking for something on the topic of cooperation, actual, in real-life working together. God and us. And I actually came up with something.
I call this aspect of the soul, the bucket.
Disclaimer: This is not to minimize or ignore those millions of things we do to “work” God in our lives: shoveling our neighbors’ walk, giving a lift to someone, speaking kindly to a young person. But I see these everyday Christian acts as our spiritual housekeeping, the things we are expected to do that we actually do. On our own. With hope, we don’t need God to do these things with us.
Except when we do. But that’s another matter all together.
No, what I came up with is something people might not know about.
It’s the phenomenon of being in a place at a time when God needs us there. Not necessarily to do anything specific, but just to hold his energy and love within us and let it be there where we are.
We use our souls, literally, as a bucket for God’s energy.
Or God uses them. We have our souls used by God.
It may not be an experience that we are aware of. We might be sitting in a church meeting frustrated that our ideas are not being heard. So we sit in silence.
Sitting in silence might be just the thing we’re supposed to be doing.
You could call it a kind of prayer. Or even a blessing.
I was shown it when I was fairly young, and have been aware of it happening from time-to-time. Not that fireworks went off when it was happening. Or the “right” (in my opinion) things happened afterwards.
But it felt good to know that I had served God in any way that I could.
So, never question your being somewhere sitting in the background. It could be that you are doing God’s work just by being present.
There is another way that “souls as buckets” can be used. They can be used by us.
This belongs under the heading, the mechanics of prayer, but what the heck.
It’s the amazing ability that we have to use another person’s or other persons’ soul(s) in advancing one of our own prayers. When we seriously and sincerely let other people know what we are praying for and ask them to pray for it as well, we are planting a seed in their souls. As a result of their attention, that seed will grow.
I know I am using the metaphor of a garden, but, really, when I “see” this, it looks more like those sweeping lights that push up into the night. A bright beam, from us to God.
And our prayers ride on that beam.
Including others in praying for our intentions intensifies the beam that glows up to God. It strengthens our aspirations, and solidifies our work with God.