a-Lenten-prayer-a-day, day 19, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

my-hands-2-27-17Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, I write a prayer for each of the forty days of Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, truly, relating to a care or concern weighing on my mind and heart, at times, vexing my soul and spirit…

On (re-)learning to pray: O Jesus, Your disciples bid, “Lord, teach us to pray.”[1] You answered with what, through the ages, is known as Your prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, for thus You spoke; though, surely, You did not mean it to be so-called, for in giving it to us, it is our prayer, The Disciples’ Prayer. And I am ever grateful for this, another of Your sacred offerings of gifts that continue to give. For, doubtless, the times are countless when I, in my life of prayer, have said the words, “Our Father, Who art in heaven…”

Still, O Jesus, numberless, too, are the times I yearn to bid that You, “Teach me to pray.” For oft I call out, I cry out to You with a mouth dry as a discarded potsherd,[2] with a gravelly voice laden with care whose sound I despise uttering feeble words of rote petitions and intercessions;  passionless, lifelessly ghostly orisons without pattern or purpose!

O Jesus, my spirit is willing. Thus, though weak my flesh, I sleep not, but watch with You through many a night,[3] beseeching that You teach me to pray! Teach me that for which and those for whom I am to pray! Teach me how!

O Jesus, by Your Spirit, refresh my mouth, revive my voice, renew my words! Amen.

Footnotes:

[1] Luke 11.1: (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John (the Baptizer) taught his disciples.”

[2] Here, I think of the language and imagery of Psalm 22.15a: My mouth is dried up like a potsherd and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.

[3] My reference to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who, accompanying Jesus as He prayed to God, the shadow of the cross of His crucifixion looming over Him, could not fulfill Jesus’ command, “Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial”, leading Him to say, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26.41, Mark 14.38).

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2 thoughts on “a-Lenten-prayer-a-day, day 19, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  1. Paul,

    I’ve always wanted to learn to pray!! When you learn will you teach the rest of us?? What’s scary for me is that if you feel you don’t know how there’s not much hope for the rest of us. Especially with you awesomeness with words! Thank you for this my dear friend!!

    Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, my dear Loretta, I trust you know how to pray, for you are an amazingly aware and honest person. I write this, for, for me, prayer is a matter of one speaking/thinking the truth of one’s heart. That you do and do well!

      The genesis of this post/prayer is my experience of my spiritual desert – and, o’er time, trust me, many have been the occasions! – when I have felt barren in thought and word, weak in will, and dry in spirit, thus, when I need reviving…

      And I would guess I am not alone in this encounter, this wandering through the spiritual wilderness.

      So, my dearest sister, we humans all are in the same proverbial boat in prayer; with moments of clarity and strength and moments of obscurity and weakness.

      Thus, you and I and we all are called to carry on!

      Much love

      Liked by 1 person

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