Renewing Our Minds as Prayer And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 As we move away from prayers that are rote, prayers that are performances, prayers that are attempts to appease or change God and we move into a life of prayer in which we are broken and open hearted, something begins to happen. We begin to encounter God. We begin to experience conscious contact with our Source, our Life. We begin to live in relationship with the God of Love. We are impacted by these encounters–by this Love. We begin to change at a deep level. Encountering God transforms the way we see ourselves, God and others. Slowly, we who have thought of ourselves as worthless and unlovable, begin to know ourselves as valued and to experience ourselves as loved. We who have defended ourselves with walls of pride and arrogance, learn to live in growing humility and grace. We, who have privately cowered before false gods who are harsh and demanding or distant and uncaring, gradually begin to know the kindness, the tender mercies of the God of Love. And we, who have guarded our hearts from freely loving our neighbor without judgement or fear, begin to see and know others through God’s eyes of love. The condemnation and judgments we hold against ourselves for the ways we have been wounded and the ways we have wounded others begins to ease. The pronouncements against ourselves as failures or less-than or unlovable or not-capable-of-loving lose their power. Our grandiose versions of ourselves fade. Our fears that God will abandon us or reject us or punish us begin to heal. Our anger at others for their neglect or abuse starts to give way to the experience of extending mercy and forgiveness. It may take many years for God to renew our minds. It may take years for us to come to know in a deep and abiding way that the true story of our lives is that–no matter what has happened to us and no matter what we have done–God was there with us loving us, valuing us. Prayer is the renewal of our minds. Prayer is our Maker offering us a new way of thinking and knowing that will transform our lives. You are transforming me. You are shining the light of your abiding presence into the darkest places of my mind. You are rewriting my story. You are setting me free to know your goodness, to know your tender mercies, to know myself as loved, and thus to be capable of loving others. I am beginning to see that at the heart of prayer is your Love which transforms me. Prayer suggestion: Invite God to do a transforming, renewing work in your mind. Wait in quiet, asking for the courage and humility to hear and see anything God might want to show you. Write whatever comes to you and share it with a trusted spiritual friend or advisor.