Prayer is a strange and fascinating process. Probably not the same for you as it is for me. Everyone has their own way and ideas about what prayer is, or isn’t.
I’ve been tangling with the process since I started writing prayers when I was about 12 years old. When I got to theological college in my 40’s to train as a priest, I was still wrestling with it but asking better questions. That got some robust discussions going about the point of it all. Meaty stuff for theological students.
One of my colleagues thought I was brave to do this but it just seems sensible to me to ask awkward questions about soulful things. If we don’t, we just keep repeating what someone else tells us to think, believe and do.
There have been many moments when I’ve got entirely fed up with the prayer process and tried to avoid engaging with it, but somehow, I keep coming back to the tangle, mostly through writing. Sometimes I describe prayer as the cry of the human heart, which seems to work for me.
This cry of the human heart was written for a friend who was struggling with the regrets of a lifetime. It bubbled up on a morning walk in my soul space by the river with Kali the Labrador. As I watched the dawn break, it seemed to me that the courage to face and hold our regrets is held in the possibilities born anew each day in the dawn and within our own being.
When you’re laced tight with regret
gut churning, breath stagnant in your throat
disconcerting experiences that earth you.
As you reach for sharp certainties
attempting unsuccessfully, as it happens
to slice ties binding you to what was.
When what you thought was God
appears fragile, broken down, inadequate to the task
and you become fearful, blinded to resurrection potential.
Then, and only then, can the dawn
where courage is held in trust beyond belief
liberate the Divine force within you, if you let it.
Dedicated to PM