“Disturb my indifference,
Expose my practiced phoniness,
Shatter my brittle certainties,
Deflate my arrogant sophistries,
And craze me into a holy awareness
of my common humanity
And so, of my bony, bloody need
To love mercy,
And walk humbly with you – and with myself,
Trusting that whatever things it may be too late for,
Prayer is not one of them.”
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.” Arundhati Roy
“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.” Dawna Markova
“The Lord receives my prayer.” Psalm 6:9
Moving From the Head to the Heart
Only the first of these portions is technically a prayer or, it seems, explicitly Christian. Nevertheless, all three readings strike me as useful resources for praying more wisely, and thus more wildly (or vice versa) as a person of faith. Perhaps this is one of those times when we can learn something from those outside our usual circles of influence:
- Notice the verbs in Loder’s prayer. Are you’re prayers sometimes “wild” like that? If not, is there good reason to hold back?
- Notice the values in Roy’s powerful words of determination. Are your prayers often “wise” like that? Can you focus on one phrase and pray from that?
- Notice Markova’s testimony. Are your prayers filled with such longing? abandon? purpose? Can you lift up your longings to God in prayer right now?
Abba, teach me to pray better than I pray.
For More: Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder
Thanks for reading! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)