Rock SchulerRock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.
Host: Where should you pray?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: St. Paul talked about being immersed in prayer, about being in a state of constant prayer in our subconscious and in our thoughts and over the centuries, different religious traditions have developed different ways of staying in that kind of constant prayer. In Christianity for instance, many use the Jesus prayer. Its a short prayer saying, Jesus have mercy on me and they try and keep that always in their consciousness or just right underneath their consciousness. That kind of prayerful attitude helps us see the presence of God in our lives all the time and it enables us to pray to God wherever we are.
However, there are some places where we can pray more effectively, not because God is necessarily more present there, but because we are different there. There is a story that was told to me by a Rabbi once that goes like this. A family moved in to a town and they enrolled their child in a new school a Hebrew school. That little boy went to school and everyday at prayer time, he would run out from the classroom where he was not comfortable for some reason and he would go across the street where there was this beautiful park and he would say his prayers there. This happened two or three days in a row and the school called up the father and said, Do you know your child, every time it's prayer time he runs out from the classroom across the street to the park and he prays in the park? So the father comes down to the school, he meets with his son and he says, Son why is it that every time is prayer time you run across the street and pray in the park? Dont you know that God is everywhere and everywhere the same? The little boy looked up at his father and said, Yes father, I know God is everywhere and everywhere the same, but I am not?
So there are different places when we are more inclined to pray. There are different times when we are more inclined to pray and we should still at the same time be striving to have a prayerful attitude at all times and in all places.