I met with my spiritual director, Elaine, on Monday, and the first thing I said when I sat down was that I hadn’t spent any formal time in prayer since our last meeting three weeks ago.
It was a strange admission for me, since prayer is a primary part of my life. I have a rhythm to my days that includes intentional time spent in quiet and prayer with God each day.
But I’d not been spending that time each day.
I’d been avoiding it.
And yet, as our conversation proceeded, we came to see that prayer had been abundant in those three weeks.
It was under the surface.
I told her about the chance moments, like driving my car down the street or talking with someone who was struggling, where I became aware of an undercurrent of prayer at work in my spirit. Some people call it a prayer language. Others refer to Romans 8, which says the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (v. 26).
That’s what it was: groanings too deep for words.
Underneath the surface often.
It happens when I don’t know how to pray. It happens when I wake in the middle of the night with someone on my mind and I don’t know why.
And, as I learned in my session with Elaine on Monday, it happens all the time. Underneath the surface. As I go about my day.
Do you ever experience prayer underneath the surface?