Saturday, 6 December 2008

Prayer

Prayer (I)

Prayer, the church’s banquet, angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, a heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tower,
Reversèd thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days’ world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;

Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The Milky Way, the bird of Paradise,
Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood.
- George Herbert

In my last post I spoke very briefly of taking some time out of our “busy” schedules and spending some time in quietude. Peter Kreeft says that everyone who lives in a metropolitan area “has a desperate need for the three S's: silence, solitude, and slowing down—both for psychological sanity and for prayer”. We all like moving around and being “active” because it gives us the illusion that we are alive. When people are still and quiet we believe that they are dull and boring, but in actual fact we need to stop being so restless and start being quiet enough to be aware of what is going on around us.

The most wonderful way to quiet your buzzing mind is to converse with your maker in prayer. In the poem above George Herbert tells of the power of prayer. Just sit and think about what happens when you pray... you actually speak to God as if He were in the room with you and amazingly enough He is in the room with you. People got all excited when Bell invented the telephone but God gave that sort of technology to humankind from the very beginning. Prayer is free, wireless and no matter where in the universe you are there’s always service.
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