Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 10/21

I wrote the first version of this prayer in 2012 and have posted it most years since - although I saw today that I didn't post it last year or the year before.  It's one of my favorites, so I'm bringing it back.  (Some readers may remember a homily I preached in 2017 in which praying on a park bench was the main image.)
Sometimes when I want to pray
I picture sitting with you, Lord,
on a park bench, on a fine October day,
the falling leaves, carpeting the ground...

Sometimes we just sit there, Lord, 

just the two of us,
in a moment made holy
by the stillness of your presence...

Or I pour out my heart to you

and share my cares and worries
while you listen and take care
to gently wipe away my tears...

Sometimes I savor memories 

of older, joyful, peaceful times,
tucked and treasured in my heart,
stored up for harder days...

Sometimes I wait and listen, 

oh, how I listen, Lord,
for a word that you might whisper
from your heart's depths to mine...

And sometimes when I listen 
    - I hear nothing -
save the silence of your presence
and often, though not always, Lord, 
that's word enough for me...

And sometimes we just sit, 

just you and me together
and sitting by your side 
is just enough, just what I need...

I never have to wait for you:
you're always at our bench,
waiting for me, patiently,
waiting to receive what joy or pain 
my heart might hold...

You're never in a hurry, Lord,

you're always pleased to stay 
and pass the time for just as long
as I may like or need...

And in the crunch of autumn leaves
you listen, Lord:
you listen oh-so-closely, 
even when my awkward silence
is the only prayer I make...

Sometimes when I want to pray
I picture sitting with you, Lord,
on a park bench, on a fine October day:
the falling leaves, carpeting the ground...
Find a park bench today
down the street, in a park,
in your heart, in your prayer...

The Lord is waiting there,
waiting for you to come and join him
in the quiet, in the silence, in your prayer...
          He's waiting to sit with you 
          and listen with all his heart
          to all you have to say,
          to every prayer you make... 


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