As I've spent time in authentic community - something I avoided for years out of fear of being known - I have started to see how the Spirit has re-sensitized me. Or perhaps there is no "re-"; perhaps it's for the first time.

For example, today I experienced a frustration, and I thought through a careful reaction & implemented it. But I still felt lousy about it, despite the tactfulness I was so fastidious to apply. And then I realized why my spirit wasn't at peace: It was because I hadn't gone to the Spirit first to get my feelings in check & my perspective adjusted. I had done it "in the flesh", to borrow an old-school churchy term.

I guess I see my prayers as a battery that has tons of corrosion that has built up on its ends from slow leaks. Some energy still gets through from time to time, but it's more the exception than the rule. The easiest thing is to toss the whole mess out & just say, "Screw it all." But my loving Daddy has given me this new chance to let Him chisel away at the muck, replenishing the juice inside and giving my terminal a polished sheen so all the volts can get through.

And I couldn't do it on my own, because prayer is just a transaction when I'm on the go. When no one is holding me accountable, I tend to just present a list of wants, sorries, and sometimes a thank-you. But being around others who are conversing with God gets me to the relationship part, which is really what prayer is about anyway. I'm sensitized & charged up & ready to connect.