Prayer: “The land of spices”

Part 27 in a series; see other parts here.

Life is not really as dull as it sometimes seems. A richness runs through our everyday, but its flavor can become so familiar that we forget to taste it. Prayer exists to draw out that taste, to let it rest on our tongues so that we can exult in its savor. Our lives are great gifts, but it’s easy to let the time pass without tasting them fully. We need to spice them frequently with prayer.

The phrase “land of spices” evokes, from a European perspective, the far-off lands of Indonesia and environs, where European traders would travel to bring back very profitable commodities. Peppercorns from India could be used as currency at times. Prayer need not traffic in such orientalism, though. Prayer does not reside in some distant place that our imaginations imbue with exoticism; it lies ever near at hand, costing only time and our willingness. The flavor of our lives can be harvested right here, in its season.

Jesus described his disciples as the salt of the earth. How are we to become so without prayer? Prayer puts us in stead to season the lives of people around us. It makes us our best selves. We’re kinder and funnier and more insightful—all to the benefit of others more than ourselves. Why oblige people to import friends at great expense from thousands of miles away when we are close at hand? Love runs through all creation, but we humans all too often lose the taste. May our prayers bring out its delicate flavor, a sweet savor unto the Lord.

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