You know what they say: “You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket.” It seems fairly obvious, right? How could one ever expect to win without actually entering the contest? How could one expect to succeed without even trying?
And, yet, that is what so many of us expect when it comes to our faith. I hear many people complain that they feel distant from God and disconnected from a faith community. Many complain that their faith just isn’t very strong. When I ask what they’ve tried or what they’re struggling with, many simply reply “nothing.” Well, that might be your first problem.
Just as you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket, you can’t improve your prayer life by not praying.
Like anything else, faith and prayer do not come naturally and we’re not necessarily good at it at first. It takes practice and hard work and patience. But most of all—maybe first of all—it takes showing up. As much as faith is a gift of God, and as much as we cannot control how God will respond to us, we absolutely can control how openly and readily we show up to God.
Because, really, God is always showing up to us. When we’re comfortable and content, God is there. When we’re proud and arrogant, God is there. When we’re lonely and tired, God is there. God is always there, showing up to us, waiting for us to show up to him.
This Lent, why not show up to God a bit more? Why not make your prayer one of fidelity, a steadfast commitment to spend time with God no matter what is going on in our lives? It may not sound like much, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that we forget that can make the biggest difference.