land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For the Love of Prayer

There are written prayers we read, over and over again, like the Lord’s Prayer. I have prayed this prayer so often that the words are almost secondary, the very prayer is simply a part of me or perhaps I am becoming a part of it.

There are prayers I say which are requests, for healing and health and the well being of people I love. It is my way of holding onto them, reaffirming my love and in a way letting it go in order not to control as much as simply appreciate these people.

There are prayers I offer that comes from my longings and desires; concerns, frustrations and needs I feel pressuring my life. These can wake me up in the middle of the night. I offer them repeatedly to God, sometimes with great ardor. Yet, I find that the beauty of prayer comes when after repeated offerings of these prayers I slowly let go of what I once believed, thought, or felt urgently important in order to discover the larger perspective of God and God’s will. It is the wrestling with God and God's unwavering patient silence, and my wrestling with my illusions, in order to honestly look at myself, my life and my longings.

And the prayer of love comes as most dear of all. Just as the silence we share with one we love, just as the savoring of a dear friend, just as the delight in seeing someone excited to see us, so too, is the place where I can experience the reality of God loving me. And in this place I find I let go in even deeper ways to love back and discover the meaning of worship. This is not a place where I ask "why" or petition for some need, this is a place of rest, of letting go, a time of awe.

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