Prayer is the rudder

June 15, 2010

Sr. Helen Prejean offers the following analogy about our relationship with God.  She says our relationship is like a boat on a river.  “When you begin to seek God, your sail fills up with wind, and your boat is taken to places that you may not expect.  But prayer is an essential part of that journey.  Your boat, she says, needs not only sails, but a rudder too.”  (Taken from The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything by James Martin). 

Prayer provides that rudder for our life.  Prayer is how we notice God at work in our life, how we become aware of our deepest desires, how we deepen our relationship with God, and how we listen to God.  Prayer guides us as our “boat” is taken to unexpected shores.  Prayer roots us as we set sail through life.  Our hand is on the rudder too.  Our hand is responsible for physically turning the boat, but to know the direction to head or to know how to navigate the new waters we are steering towards, we must ask for guidance. 

Are we anchoring our life in prayer?
Are we trying to steer without asking for guidance first?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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