23 November 2008

"I can tell by your eyes exactly what you mean"

Jennifer Knapp, some pretty good lyrics.
"Lord undo me, put away my flesh and bone..."

I have not understood the many facets of prayer, though I have seen its power shaping me to the Father's will. I have feared to pray for brokenness, knowing that I would soon find myself deeply confronted (once again) by my own weakness and sin. I have both refused to pray, knowing His answering would hurt, and prayed with every fiber of me yearning for His presence in the humbling.
I cannot tell you that if you pray, your mother will be healed or your cousin saved.
But I do know that the God I serve is mighty to save. And I know that prayer is a part of your recognition of being in the presence of this Mighty One.

"The eighteenth-century Hasidic Jews had more sense, and more belief. One Hasidic slaughterer, whose work required invoking the Lord, bade a tearful farewell to his wife and children every morning before he set out for the slaughterhouse. He felt, every morning, that he would never see any of them again. For every day, as he himself stood with is knife in his hand, the words of his prayer carried him into danger. After he called on God, God might notice and destroy him before he had time to utter the rest, "Have mercy."

Another Hasid, a rabbi, refused to promise a friend to visit him the next day: "How can you ask me to make such a promise? This evening I must pray and recite 'Hear, O Israel.' When I say theese words, my soul goes out to the utmost rim of life...Perhaps I shall not die this time either, but how can I now promise to do something at a time after the prayer?"
-Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

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