In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mk. 1:35)
For many years my spiritual advisor was a monk. His name was Tom. Although I haven’t worked with him for many years, I’m still drawing from our times together.
Let me share one of our sessions. My prayer life had dried up. I tried to pray, but my mind strayed. I wondered if anyone was listening, questioned if my praying made any difference, felt guilty my prayer life was so lifeless.
I confessed all this to Tom. Instead of being concerned, he laughed. He said, “I’ve been waiting for you to have such a crisis. It happens to everyone.”
I said, “Tom, please give me some way to make my praying real again.”
He said, “Stop trying so hard. Start every day having coffee with Jesus. Just sit down and imagine He’s right next to you. Talk when you want to talk. Sometimes be quiet and listen. Just be there. Trust that Jesus is with you, whether or not you sense His presence. Start tomorrow. Keep listening until you hear Him. Keep doing it until He joins you.”
For a couple of weeks this exercise felt awkward. But then one morning I knew I wasn’t alone.
In the coming days I became more and more eager to have coffee with Jesus. As I began to trust that Jesus was there with me, regardless of whether or not I felt His presence, my prayer life became real again.
I encourage you to start having coffee with Jesus. Speak if you want to speak. Be quiet sometimes. If you have something to confess, trust in His grace to forgive. If you have some need, ask for help. Share your worries and fears, your joys and thanksgivings. Talk with Jesus like you’re talking to your best friend. May you continue to have coffee with Jesus until you know just how happy He is to share this time with you.
- How is your prayer life right now? If you are in a dry spell—and we all have them—what would you think about starting tomorrow by having coffee with Jesus?
- Do you know that your prayer time isn’t about you somehow persuading Jesus to be with you, but about you coming to trust that Jesus is always with you?
- Would your prayer life change if you trusted that Jesus is grateful every time you give Him your time, attention, fears, hopes, needs, ears, and heart? If so, how?