Cats will be catsSome neighbours have been on holiday, and Jean’s been feeding their cats. One’s deaf, the other’s devious, and both are catesquely contrary. In the morning they hide and won’t come out. In the evening they play busy and won’t come in, however coaxed with food, yet next day complain about nocturnal neglect. And care has to be taken to stop one eating the other’s food as well as its own. You can learn a lot about prayer from cats.
For instance, have you ever noticed how frequently we go our own way and yet expect to be looked after, miaowing angrily or piteously to the Lord when things catch up with us? And that bit about “Give us each day our daily bread...”: we don’t usually add “and our neighbours’ too”, but our actions might imply it. And as to being deaf – well, aren’t we often deaf to what the Lord has to say to us? Good at yowling our requests, and even rubbing ourselves against the Lord’s legs to get our own way (with a spot of affection, granted, as we glance meaningfully at the tins of goodies on the celestial shelves). But less good at doing what we’re told.
It isn’t as if we’re entirely indifferent to God. I’m not suggesting that. But if we haven’t listened – and acted on what we’ve heard – then our ritual offerings are likely to be as welcome as dead mice on the doormat. You expect cats to be cats, of course, and true to their nature. But similarly, aren’t Christians expected to be true to their new nature, in the Spirit of their risen Lord?
A prayer for each weekLord of community, who formed us to make relationships, with you and each other, thank you for neighbours. Please help us to be neighbourly, according to the needs of the moment, and in the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
Lord of communication, who gave us the gift of words, please help us to speak openly, honestly and caringly with one another, and to listen with the same attention as we hope for, through Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Lord of provision, who created us within a world of resources and harvest, please help us to provide for each other, at home, next door and across the global village, with thankfulness and compassion. Amen.
Lord of the night and the day, who made us creatures within a world of time, please help us to live each moment of today under your guidance, gratefully, as you alone know all our tomorrows unto eternity. Amen.
Your own prayers