By my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being with God in a deliberate way.
I believe that God prays in us and through us, whether we are praying or not (and whether we believe in God or not). So, any prayer on my part is a conscious response to what God is already doing in my life.
I find Jesus my confidant and companion, brother and savior; our relationship is intimate, vulnerable, demanding yet comfortable and reassuring.
Real answers need to be found in dialogue and interaction and, yes, our shared human condition. This means being open to one another instead of simply fighting to maintain a prescribed position.
However one might pray - in any verbal way or completely without words - is unimportant to God. What matters is the heart's intent.
Our prayers must spring from the indigenous soil of our own personal confrontation with the Spirit of God in our lives.
Seriously, however, I learn a lot about my physical life in the aging and changing of my body.
Yet through history gays have always dominated religious life and churches.
Speaking for myself, my very integrity as a human being needs to include my freedom to explore who I am both spiritually and sexually. Not just to explore - but to practice.
I find in the Psalms much the same range of mood and expression as I perceive within my own life of prayer.
Jesus is an example. We have other examples, including many of our ancestors as role models who understood the inner meaning of our orientation.
I have osteoarthritis, which especially affects my knees.
I have glaucoma, so use eye drops both morning and night.
Also, I walk and hike in several different nearby parks near our home several early mornings a week.
Our essential differences from the norm are both huge and deeply offensive to those among us who wish to be quietly integrated into society without particular reference to our nature.
I feel that I communicate best when I am not deliberately being linear. Along this same line, I feel some of the best sermons I've ever heard were in the theatre rather than the pulpit - as, for example, in the Theatre of the Absurd.
Entrenched scriptural literalism is, in my opinion, completely out of touch with reality.
Five days a week I drive from our home to the Episcopal Cathedral Center of Los Angeles where I have an office, my computer, and a wonderful sense of community - especially nurtured by the presence of several younger gay men and women who are good friends.
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