The earth in perpetual motion is joined
perfectly suspended in marbled, orbital dance.
Swivels not to the left nor to the right,
but spins exactly as appointed.
We trust the sun to contribute a day,
and the moon to yield its phases by month.
We trust earth’s faithful resolve to bid a year.
All which hang on nothing, but time’s sway.
The cyclical performance of season’s courtesy and bow
formalize the exposed eye to an invisible force.
The universe settled by an expanse unimaginable
boggled by the light-years determined course.
We trust the twinkle, twinkle little star
in navigational array, and clustered by mythical stories.
We trust the night’s display to tuck labors into dreams
with absolutely incredible, speechless wonder.
So too is prayer…
Vast beyond our comprehension, yet tangible to our spirits, prayer seems suspended in time and space. As if words are simply hung in the balance.
Prayer is the element of faith that draws the contours of devotion into the human faculties of mind, body, will, and emotions. For the Christian, prayer is the means of acknowledging and conversing in the love of Christ. For He, through the Holy Spirit, supplies to the soul every need, in the hour of need. There is an invisible reality to the sweet power of prayer. The mystery lies in prayer’s interval, layered by time, betwixt and between the sudden jarring of one’s securities, the muse of one’s thoughts, all while the soul waits for the sense to be made aware of an answer, or not. However, it is good to remember that time’s sway is powerless to the chime of eternity.
Prayer is surveyed by eternity’s bearings.
No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him
to whom we must give an account.
– Hebrews 4:13 (CSB)
All too often my prayers are permeated with the consciousness of my ways, my time-frames navigated by my convenience, and by the measured course of my faith. As if my life depended upon me. I stop short of eternity’s perspective, no doubt light years away from my observable experience. Certainly, I may mute an over-arched self-centeredness, while still clinging too much in allegiance to my kingdom, first. Prayer can wax and wane when my faith’s tides synchronize with the phases of my mood:
- Cheshire grin
- A half light ; half dark
- Eclipsed by shadows
- Full or over-sharing
“Sheol (the nether world) and
Abaddon (the place of destruction)
lie open before the LORD (Adonai)–
how much more, human hearts.”
– Proverbs 15:11 (CSB)
How can prayer enrich my soul and lead me to the place where it becomes my daily bread as I walk through the seasons of life? For spiritual growth, for a “peace that passes understanding,” for my soul to securely dwell despite hope deferred, it takes courage to pray! A praying people is a courageous people.
“Prayer to the patriarchs and prophets was more than the recital of well-known and well-worn phrases – it was the outpouring of the heart.” – Herbert Lockyer
Is it no unimaginable expanse of wonder that Jesus Christ only commits Himself (John 2:24) to those who learn how to take to heart. In Matthew 6:5-13 we see Him give us an example of prayer being linked to how we trust,
5 “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people…6 when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.7 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
NOTE: In the next blog post I hope to explore more of ‘What is the aim of prayer?’ And what does prayer look like when the realities of life leave us feeling more “poured out” than the times when life is “overflowing.”