Mother Theresa said that the biggest problem facing the world today is not people dying in the streets of Calcutta. She says the biggest problem is what she calls "spiritual deprivation." She describes this as a feeling of emptiness associated with feeling separate from God and from all our brothers and sisters on planet Earth. There are people within the shadow of your church who know about that kind of emptiness.

Nels Ferre once wrote of a Christian missionary convert from Hawaii. This convert spoke on prayer to a seminary audience here on the mainland. "Before the missionaries came to Hawaii," she said, "my people used to sit outside their temples for a long time meditating and preparing themselves before entering. Then they would virtually creep to the altar to offer their petition and afterward would again sit a long time outside, this time to 'breathe life' into their prayers. The Christians, when they came, just went up, uttered a few sentences, said Amen, and were done. For that reason my people called them haolis, 'without breath,' or those who failed to breathe life into their prayers."


It may be that the reason many of us live such barren lives is that we rarely set aside time any more to breathe life into our prayers. We are so busy doing, so caught up in the race, so pressed for time, that we have cut out that which gives us the strength, the courage and the vitality we need to strive successfully.