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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

Jun 30th, 2023 | Rev. Alyce Parmer

Throughout my spiritual journey, my prayer life has changed.

Just as we biologically change daily (very subtly, those changes barely noticed) so can we spiritually change. And prayer, its influence, power, and effect on our spiritual beings, is what this pastor’s note is about this week. I don’t understand prayer…it is truly an utter mystery to me. Maybe for you, too.

But here’s the thing. Healthy or bad habits, whether biological or spiritual have their effects for better or worse. I’ve learned the habit of practicing prayer produces spiritual fruit, even if I don’t understand how that works. Which is really vexing for me.

I like to know the why and how. God hasn’t provided an answer, much to my chagrin. But I have a kind of peace about that…as an old hymn says – “we’ll understand it all by and by”. What I have experienced is prayer does produce spiritual fruit. You’ll find some of those fruits named in Galatians 5. Mysteriously, this fruit grows, just as all fruit grows slowly, change barely perceptible until, voila – a tiny bud transforms into something beneficial.

Unlike biological fruit though, spiritual fruit benefits, not only us, but others too – consider the spiritual fruits of patience, kindness, self-control and love. The effects of prayer are often surprising, and God did what only God can do recently in this regard. I hadn’t been praying for it, but voila, mysteriously, the Holy Spirit gave me an insight into something – something about myself I hadn’t realized, and that God mysteriously changed for the better without me even asking for it! The details aren’t important, but I share this experience with you because prayer is the key to what happened.

Prayer is a time of thanking, praising, beseeching, or petitioning God for us and on behalf of others, but it can be so much more. In the stillness, the Holy Spirit moves in ways and means beyond our understanding. Because our human interactions involve our physical senses, it’s challenging to realize God “hears”, “sees”, is “with”, and “speaks” to us when we pray. Just as St. Francis of Assisi said: “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.”, it’s also true that we can, pray at all times, and if necessary, use words.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest in developing a deeper, stronger, and richer prayer life. If I have, be on the lookout for in an upcoming opportunity Pastor Charlie will be offering to do just that.


Pastor Alyce

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