Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 3/15

Sometimes, Lord,
we think we don't know how to pray,
we can't find the words to say,
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've not yet 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, as surely,
and as purely
as any saint's more studied prayer?

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

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

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 their desire 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 our every prayer
- 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 profound confusion
which, in your wisdom, Lord,
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
- prayers with words and prayers without...



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