I sometimes feel ripped off by echoes… they don’t seem to come back again as much as they flitter away, jumping onto the edges of far away walls and whirling in caves I cannot see.
… and I can feel the same with prayer….
I call into a still and cavernous place, only to hear the end of my words trailing off like tumbling pebbles
maybe it’s because I have it all wrong
I stand on the top of a precipice and call upwards and outwards…. like my height and volume might make a difference.
I throw my words high expecting to find some orderly response.
Is prayer worth more according to the volume and location of the delivery?
…I know the answer to this one, a story of a man who prays aloud in public places and another who bows his head and sends up whispered confessions.
Yet, I continue to search for a different key to unlock a different gate. I want to hear an orderly and audible response to my prayers – so I lay them out neatly and with some kind of religious rhythm – thinking perhaps this is the way to twist the arm of God into responding in the way I want.
I forget that Jesus wasn’t a man for typed up prayer requests and special systems. Jesus was the one who found a quiet, non-echo-y place to listen for the Father’s will.
…. and when his dearest ones asked for a special, guaranteed-the-right-way, sure-to-get-a-response prayer he gave them a pattern…
to acknowledge awe and intimacy
to submit the will and realign the values of our lives
to ask for things we need
and acknowledge the greatest of our needs – forgiveness for our selves and grace towards others
to ask for all the help we can get as the flesh-war wages and the heavenly war goes on
to stop and to acknowledge our heritage, Lordship, source of power and the one deserving of all glory
to rest safe in the arms of the One who has already won the victory forever
maybe, I need to rewrite those famous words, and make them my own intimate words, maybe I need to stop sending the words up and out and let the words echo around the insecure places of my heart
I need to hold them sacred as I learn to rest not on the words but on the One who listens,
I need to bow my head and whisper my own prayer, following His pattern,
whose will I trust,
even when I do not know it,
give me courage to submit to you
and to desire your will above all things
look at my tangled bowl of worries,
both real and imagined,
and provide the things and peace I need,
see here the sin that rules me, the selfish, prideful, wretchedness I hide from others
– see me and forgive me
hold this sin like a mirror I must acknowledge when I feel the injustice of others
– remind me the depth of my transgression
and give me the fullest measure I can handle of your grace for others
hide me from the evil that would be done to me
and the evil I would do
remind me no one can snatch me from your hand – let that be the place I want to rest
all of it is yours
you hold the keys and final deeds to all of it
I am set to inherit what can never be taken, broken, compromised
because of you
because of you
because of you
all glorious and worthy one
Today I need to find the sacred space, the small and empty quiet space. Today I need help to wander away from expectations about the prayers I pray and rest in the One to whom my whole being wishes to commune with.
Maybe in that space I will find answers I wasn’t seeking for questions I needed to ask.
When your prayers are echoing pebbles tumbling down a great raven what is your pattern?