Prayer as a simple trust in that presence

There was simply silence. And in that silence, as I gazed up at the sunlight sparkling through those high upper windows, or followed a secret tug drawing me down into my own heart, I began to know a prayer much deeper than "talking to God."

"Somewhere in those depths of silence I came upon my first experiences of God as a loving presence that was always near, and prayer as a simple trust in that presence.

Dear Pray-er

Dear Pray-er,
A soul not nourished by prayer is like
a barren desert:
Pray when you work.
Pray over every problem.
Pray when you are at home,
Pray with your family.
Pray when you watch the news,
Pray over the nations, the planet.
Pray in the Silence,
Become the Prayer.

The desert challenges us to travel with prayer as our best companion

The Saguaro (barrel-chested cactus), arms uplifted as though in prayer, might remind us that for countless ages its desert home has been viewed by spiritual seekers as a special prayer space. In the long history of prayer, the desert has often been seen as a holy locale where seekers can travel light and encounter spiritual realities. The desert, whether of sand or of our inner souls, challenges us to see more clearly and to travel with prayer as our best companion.

March 2005 (Vol. XVIII, No. 3)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Blessings of Spring renewal to you, dear friends! A prayer may be calling to you, silently budding in the sacred temple of your innermost being, a fragile prayer for you to nurture into birth, response, and action. Blessed are you who listen to the soul-songs waiting to be sung in your heart.

We were born for inspiration, sweet melodies, and prayers.

~ Pushkin
Pushkin prayer

The seed of prayer is sown in heaven.
It pushes its stem toward the earth
and comes to grow there.
It produces an abundance of fruit.
Then, as it becomes seed once more,
it thrusts its way back to heaven.

~ Jukichi Yagi
Jukichi Yagi prayer

To pray is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming set on fire by the Spirit.

~ Anonymous
Anonymous prayer

For those who have come to know God,
the whole world is a prayer mat.

~ Bawa M.
Bawa M. prayer

We do not step out of the world when we pray; we merely see the world in a different setting. The self is not the hub, but the spoke of the revolving wheel. In prayer we shift the center of living from self-consciousness to self-surrender. God is the center, the Source, toward which all forces tend, and we are the flowing, the ebb and flow of God's tides. Prayer takes the mind out of the narrowness of self-interest, and enables us to see the world in the mirror of the holy.

~ from I ASKED FOR WONDER by Abraham Joshua Heschel thanks to Amy Bradfield
Abraham Joshua Heschel I Asked For Wonder prayer

The creative act is a courageous, ancient gesture, a dynamic prayerful exploration of the dark mystery that is human existence. When I finally identified this face of creativity as sacred practice, I built a small altar in my studio and my work took on a depth of meaning it never had. Prayer and art suddenly meshed and became refined. It wasn't done in pursuit of holiness as I'd been taught in the child's corner of my life. Prayer became synonomous with art as an authentic expression of my entire complex Self.

~ Adriana Diaz in THE SOUL OF CREATIVITY ed. by T. P. Myers
Adriana Diaz The Soul Of Creativity prayer

The most perfectr prayer breathes in a heart that remains silent before God and knows how to listen to God.

~ Augustine Ichiro Okumura
Augustine Ichiro Okumura prayer

The purpose of prayer is to find God's will and to make that will our own.

~ Catherine Marshall
Catherine Marshall prayer

The last time I saw Fr. Bede, I asked for his blessing and one final word of advice.

He held my face in his hands and then said, "Pray, pray always!"

And he went back to his prayers.

~ Andrew Harvey in ONE HEART ed. B. L. Kuchler
Andrew Harvey One Heart prayer

Adoration in prayer is time for God alone.

~ Douglas Steere
Douglas Steere prayer

I am giving Thee worship with my whole life,
I am giving Thee assent with my whole power,
I am giving Thee praise with my whole tongue,
I am giving Thee honor with my whole utterance.

I am giving Thee lovfe with my whole devotion,
I am giving Thee kneeling with my whole desire,
I am giving Thee affefction with my whole sense,
I am giving Thee my existence with my whole mind.
I am giving Thee my soul, O God of all ages.

~ from The Carmina Gadelica with thanks to Gay Grissom
The Carmina Gadelica prayer

Prayer creates a quiet place within us where we can go at any time regardless of what is taking place around us. In this quiet place, we are constantly aware of God's presence. By practicing self-restraint in speech and maintaining this quiet place within, we will be aware of the presence of God. Then when we do speak, our words will break down the barriers between this world and the next. Words are the tools of the material world, while silence is the mystery of the spiritual realm. A love of silence is the surest and safest way to find our true selves, fulfillment and joy.

~ from A CALL TO JOY by Matthew Kelly thanks to S. Evangelita Spechthold
S. Evangelita Spechthold A Call To Joy prayer Buy on Amazon

Be constant in your practice, and one day the One who gave you the desire for the prayer of the heart will give you that prayer itself. When your heart's intention is fixed on God, it will keep lit the incense of your prayer, and wind of distraction will not put it out. do not worry about stray thoughts; they may come and go, but they will not take your attention away from God.

~ Romuald of Ravenna
Romuald of Ravenna prayer

Prayer invites us to become aware of the living interaction between the transparent God, who will remain always beyond all we can think or imagine, and the immanent God, who abides deep in our heart. As we become aware of this sacred encounter, we become, ourselves, a place where God's dream is becoming incarnate in our own personal life. We enter into a personal and intimate relationship with the Author of our being.

~ from CLOSE TO THE HEART by Margaret Silf
Margaret Silf Close To The Heart prayer Buy on Amazon

We often consider prayer a deliberate act, something that we choose to do, or not. In the 18th century, William Law knew better:

"As the heart willeth and worketh, such, and no other, is its prayer.... For this is the necessity of our nature: pray we must, as sure as our heart is alive; therefore, when the state of our heart is not a spirit of prayer to God, we pray without ceasing to some, or other, part of the creation."

Perhaps as we learn what "part of creation" we have been praying to without knowing it, we can enlarge and re-focus our prayer, until we find that we are not so much praying as being prayed through, and all our own best hopes and the hopes of the world are flowing through us.

~ Mary C. Morrison
Mary C. Morrison prayer

Born for prayer

We were born for inspiration, sweet melodies, and prayers.

The seed of prayer is sown in heaven

The seed of prayer is sown in heaven.
It pushes its stem toward the earth
and comes to grow there.
It produces an abundance of fruit.
Then, as it becomes seed once more,
it thrusts its way back to heaven.