Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 3/18

Sometimes, Lord,
we think we don't know how to pray:
we can't find the words to say
and we wonder if we pray "the right way..."

How did we become so misinformed
about something so important, Lord?

When did we begin to think of prayer
as a rare gift? a specialized skill?
an art we haven't mastered?

How did we come to forget 
that every thought, sigh, hope and cry, 
every grunt and gasp and word of ours
sounds in your heart as soon and as surely 
as any saint's pure and perfect prayer?

Help us remember, Lord,
that simply sitting in your presence,
... in silence...
is a prayer whose eloquence delights you...

Our very desire to pray, Lord,
is a sign you're already with us,
nudging our hearts to trust that you're near:
our wanting to pray is already a prayer...

You invite us to voice our joys and hopes
and to vent our hurts and sorrows
- though all of them are known to you
long before we even think to pray...

Before infants have a word to say,
they pray:
their cooing, mumbling and crying
all sputter forth their wordless pleas
of wonder, hunger, fear and joy,
of wanting to be held
by those who hear in every sound they make
the beauty of a prayer that has no words...

Be mother and father to us, Lord,
and hear every prayer we make
- with or without words...

Receive the prayers that sputter from our souls:
prayers that have no words
and prayers that have too many words;
prayers we sob upon your breast
and prayers we sing from happy hearts;
prayers that rise from our confusion
which, in wisdom, you completely understand...

We offer you each thought, sigh,
hope, cry and word of ours
that pleads and pulses from within...

Let the prayer of beating hearts be heard
and held in your eternal heart
and in your mercy, Lord,
answer us, we pray:
hear and answer every prayer we make
- with words or without...


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