Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Let's Talk About Prayer

Two books that helped me expand my idea of prayer and develop daily practice of prayer are The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.  I read both during participation in Spiritual Formation retreatsfour years with Baltimore Yearly Meeting and one year with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  

The following poem resulted from talks with other poets about prayer.  



By Prayer, you mean memorized ones with
institutional seals of approval
and I admit—as warm ups and stretches—I
find them to be openings as useful
as candles in flame and windows ajar.
 
After such warm-ups, prayer for me is
opening my heart to God, spending time
in relationship with It.  Words come from
gratitude and need, intercession and
sorrow, forgiveness and discovery.
 
We dialogue in liquid silences,
wait for more there-ness, expectant but un-
knowing whether God will respond today—
that is, if It will answer directly—
though It speaks through others, even you, now.
 
I know you laugh off this prayer from non-
monkish lay persons like me, but I have
strained to gain this presence minute by inch,
drop by second, trial to success all
these years, intentionally reaching out.
 
So I "waste" my time planting flowers in
vegetable gardens and roadways, a
dialogue with holiness, replacing
death with life and plain with ornate beauty
simple in its gratitude and welcome.



What do you mean by prayer?  How and when do you pray?



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