Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Poetry of Prayer

Sometimes, the poetry of prayer can succeed where prose falls short. Here's a prayer I wrote recently.

Creator God, who calls each of us to a new way of life and to the vocation of love: We are grateful for the many ways that you speak to us.
You speak through the amazing and intricate processes of nature so that we can see you in sunrises and sunsets, in the beauty of ocean and sky, and in the overwhelming variety of life teeming on this earth.

You speak to us through the quietness of silence and in the noise of great music.
You speak to us through the words of other people, written and spoken.
You speak to us through our minds and conscience.
You speak to us through the daily events we experience.

There are a multitude of ways that you address us, if we would be aware and listen. Too often, we aren’t listening for your voice. Or, if we think we hear it, we ignore it.

When we do hear your call, we often offer excuses for why we can’t do what you call us to do. You call us to do your work and we claim that we’re too busy. You call us to reach out to a person we don’t like and we whine, “It’s too difficult.” You call us to share our resources and we contend, “We don’t have enough for ourselves.”

Yes, we are reluctant followers of your way. Yet, when we do heed your call, we find genuine and abundant life. When we follow your way, we discover our true selves, persons built for relationship with you and with our fellow humans.

So let us open our ears, minds and hearts to your calling. And, once we understand what we are called to do, give us the courage and wisdom to obey. Strip away our evasions and pretensions so that we are left without excuses for not following your way. Amen.

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