Thursday, November 13, 2008

How shall we pray?

As I was doing my devotions this morning, I was struggling with the fact that I don't really feel like I can pray. I don't know how to approach God and I often feel like I merely come to Him with my list of requests (lists of all sorts are one of my little-known talents) and hand them over and then leave. It's not real quality listening for God's direction time, or confessing my sins. I feel like I'm always on the go too much to just sit and listen. But I came across this poem this morning, and it expresses a lot of what I can't. Address to the Lord by John Berryman Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake, inimitable contriver, endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon, thank you for such as it is my gift. I have made up a morning prayer to you containing with precision everything that most matters. 'According to Thy will' the thing begins. It took me off & on two days. It does not aim at eloquence. You have come to my rescue again & again in my impassable, sometimes despairing years. You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves and I am still here, severely damaged, but functioning. Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs: How can I 'love' you? I only as far as gratitude & awe confidently & absolutely go. I have no idea whether we live again. It doesn't seem likely from either the scientific or the philosophical point of view but certainly all things are possible to you, and I believe as fixedly in the Resurrection-appearances to Peter and to Paul as I believe I sit in this blue chair. Only that may have been a special case to establish their initiatory faith. Whatever your end may be, accept my amazement. May I stand until death forever at attention for any your least instruction or enlightenment. I even feel sure you will assist me again, Master of insight & beauty.

1 comment:

Mor said...

I think we all must struggle with that issue. The poem reminds me somehow of Cohen's "If it Be Your Will".