I’ve been thinking and struggling a bit with prayer. Here’s some of what Thomas Merton has to say about prayer:
‘We do not pray for the sake of praying, but for the sake of being heard. We do not pray in order to listen to ourseves praying but in order that God may hear us and answer us. Also, we do not pray in order to receive just any answer: it must be God’s answer…..
…the life of prayer is founded on prayer of petition – no matter what it may develop into later on.
Far from ruining the purity of solitary prayer, petition guards and preserves that purity. The solitary, more than anyone else, is always aware of his poverty and of his needs before God. Since he depends directly on God for everything material and spiritual, he has to ask for everything. His prayer is an expression of his poverty….
The solitary, being a man of prayer, will come to know God by knowing that his prayer is always answered….
Qualities of prayer:
1. Unhesitating faith (Matthew 21:21; James 1:6) which depends on “singleness” of mind and purpose.
2. Persevering confidence (Luke 11)
I’ve been detoxing the Lyme bacteria and had to go back to the homeopath for a booster treatment. Pain and tremors have kept me awake at night. This is when I find myself praying most fervently.
Here are some prayers by Tagore. This first one is my favourite.
THIS IS MY PRAYER
Give me the supreme courage of love, this is
My prayer – the courage to speak, to do, to suffer
At Your will, to leave all things or be left alone.
Strengthen me on errands of danger, honor me
With pain, and help me climb to that difficult mood
That sacrifices daily to You.
Give me the supreme confidence of love, this
is my prayer – the confidence that belongs to life
in death, to victory in defeat, to the power hidden
in the frailest beauty, to that dignity in pain which
accepts hurt but disdains to return it.
In the night of weariness, let me give myself
up to sleep without struggle, resting my trust upon
Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor
preparation for Your worship.
It is You who draws the veil of night upon the
tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher
gladness of awakening.
Love and blessings to you all!