prayerful confession about prayer

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Lord, I think that what I really want from you in prayer
   is a huge pulsating heart to love you and other people,
   to live for you and others,
   be enraptured in you.
But I don’t seem to have it.
I’m not being mock modest, Lord;
   my heart is small and fickle and you know it.
I know this because there are so many things I want that aren’t you,
   and if I don’t have them my prayer is no satisfaction
   and my moods are governed not by you and prayer
   but by the emptiness I feel.
I think I used to be worried that you didn’t seem to answer prayers,
   for myself, for friends, for all sorts of things large and small,
   but this doesn’t really worry me now.
I am sort of saddened, Lord, that you don’t give
   good health or happiness or faith to the people I’m praying for,
   but this doesn’t make me doubt you.
It just makes me realize I don’t really comprehend you,
   I don’t comprehend how you love others, or me,
   that you are a stupendous mystery;
 but I do believe that the only thing you have and can give is love,
   though I don’t understand very often how you give it.
You are mysterious.

Dominic Gaisford, 1928-1994, monk who served in the UK and Peru

__________________

But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

One thought on “prayerful confession about prayer

  1. I just read this clip from a book by O. Hallesby, “Instead, Hallesby says Christian prayer is helplessness. We don’t need to motivate God. He already loves us beyond what we can imagine, he knows our situation more intimately than we ever will, he is constantly desirous to work for our good. The mystery of prayer is that God has voluntarily made his work dependent on us giving him access to our situations by inviting him in. This means simply opening up our needs before him and asking him to work; not telling him what to do, not striving to work up enough emotion to show him we are sincere. Just turn to Jesus and admit our helplessness in the situation. Jesus is already knocking on the door of our hearts, ready to come in and commune with us (Revelation 3:20).”

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