the experience of prayer

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Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash  

We rejoice that you are a God who always listens,
    and that prayer is the voice of love,
                                    the voice of pleading,
                            and the voice of thanksgiving.

Our souls are like cups that are overflowing;
    we cannot keep them from spilling;
    we do not wait to know that our prayers are being heard,
    or how you may have answered us in the past.

How amazing to feel ourselves in your presence,
    to experience what we describe as “the light of your countenance,”
    to be aware that your thoughts are upon us,
    to have the sensation that the Holy Spirit is guiding our own words
– this alone is an answer to prayer that exceeds anything!

We are glad that we can glorify you,
    that we can rejoice in you,
    that our lives make a difference to you,
    and that your embrace makes us aware
of how much you mean to us
and that we mean so much to you.

Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887, Congregational minister from Brooklyn, NY
2000 Years of Prayer freely modified

______________________

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

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