710. On this election day – a prayer of the people

On this election day - a prayer of the people.jpg

A friend posted this on Facebook over the weekend. With today being election day here in the U.S., I wanted to share it on this page.

From the Book of Common Prayer:

Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the
ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another
and serve the common good.


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.



[Photo: a cairn I came across this past weekend on a day away]

708. a prayer to be disturbed

Weeping Willows By Creek.jpg

This poem was in a recent issue of Critique and it caught my attention. I particularly found myself thinking about the line, "We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes...." Perhaps your eye will land and stay on a different line.


Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity;
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

–Sir Francis Drake (attributed to)



[Photo: taken of a fall scene]

692. Prayer as a complicated polyphony ad infinitum

Prayer as a complicated polyphony ad infinitum.jpg

When I was in junior high a Sunday school teacher told us thatwhen we pray out loud the prayer is prayed forever, because the sound waves produced by the audible prayer go on and on without end. I didn't know enough then – and still don't – about the physics of sound to evaluate the truth of that statement, but it fired my young imagination to consider the possibilities for a reality that I couldn't see or hear or even understand as well as my interaction with that reality.

Last night, reading a book review by Lauren Winner in the latest issue of Image (no. 88) reminded me of this. Her review, "Through the Ear," discusses two books about Scripture, one of which is The Art of Listening in the Early Church by Carol Harrison. In a section about theLord's Prayer, Winner writes that Harrison, drawing on the early church fathers, suggests that the prayer is "fundamentally an act of listening." God is listening and we the prayers also are listening.

Winner quotes Harrison:

"The individuals who said this prayer together would thus hear not only their own voice, along with the common voice of the faithful, but [would also hear] God, as it were, speaking to Himself." Thus prayer becomes, in Harrison's phrasing, "a complicated polyphony of speaking and hearing: God speaks to Himself; the individual and the congregation speak to God; God hears His own words and those of the faithful; the faithful hear what they pray, overhear the words of their neighbors as they pray with them, and above all, overhear God's own words."

This is a new way for me to think about the Lord's prayer. Tomorrow morning around 11:45 a.m., I'll be paying close attention to the "complicated polyphony" and wondering about the ad infinitum waves.


[Photo: another taken at the sculpture garden at Pratt College (see post from May 5).]