Monday, January 18, 2016

Et In Terra

“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self knowledge.  It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our loves.  Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us.  Indeed prayer makes it safe for God to give us what we most desire.  It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God.”  (Tim Keller) 

So heavy.  Can you feel it too?
How each letter swells with the weight of it all? 
Soak up the gravity; stretch mighty to grasp the significance. 
Below, the heart wrestles in the learning, and the spirit struggles again to climb.
Miles into an endless enigma. 
Of sleepless agitation.
And terrestrial condemnation.   
But remember, it’s all in the gaze. 
Lift.  Force the eyes up if you have to.  Where are those hills?    
In the madness and the dark where restless thoughts fly thick through souls, 
Edify us with songs of the Day
 Instruct the spirit to fold and pray.
When the woe of unclean smears slander across the truth, we cry undone.   
Oh, unbearable union. 
Of shalom and the shadow. 
But the most beautiful of words are bestowed by grace. 
By the cry “Our Father,” we know the holiest place.
A flight from pain, communion is not, nor a vessel to dodge the suffered trial. 
As it is in heaven,
So be it on earth. 

Sovereign will be done and kingdom come surmount all other needs. 
Like shafts in the dark, our prayers pierce the shroud,
Comets in reverse escaping into the sky to bring Heaven down. 
In the end that’s the only way to do it. 
The only way to keep the heart from withering in your chest. 
To pray like you breathe. 
Holiness like oxygen. 
Because that’s what it is. 
Sometimes we don’t know Him, but deep down we also know why. 
Have you ever found the path to prayer held against you? 
Because yourself was in the way? 
Be glorified in us, Oh Lord, hallowed be your name. 
Fortify the hand to bestow your love on friend and foe the same.
Bathe the hurts. 
Baptize the wants. 
Flood the heart familiar with you. 
Reorder our loves with purpose, arrange the fragmented spirit
With shards of rough soul,
Make brokenness whole,
And cover all with the portion of your promised peace. 
For that’s a bond we can rely on, a mending and a communion surmounted by a vow. 

That even in the shadow lands we know the gift of love,
And how much more will he give his to his children out of his perfection?
His spirit, incomparably beautiful, dwelling in a temple of flesh.
Oh that honest prayer would erupt from within,
A yearning for communion. 
Unhindered by fallen perception. 
Words cannot mislead the one who searches out the deepest of places. 
Decorated desires,
Holy wishes,
Only the most carefully selected requests to bring.
We reason to be heard when the volume of our praise outstrips the request 
But really, we can only ask him.
And the surrendered spirit fully exposed to the refining eye of God
Will perhaps know greater intimacy. 
A year in the making, another journey bearing days to learn.
To measure these thoughts,
To condense this scattered rhythm,
Would be an anthem of practice
A song to fight stronger with each passing day.
My God, I want to know you more. 
This year,
and always,
Please teach me how to pray. 

*If you have enjoyed this slightly impaired attempt at contemporary poetry, leave a comment below!  

All Work subject to copyright by the author,  Use by permission only.  2016.  
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  1. Beautiful! We just started a series on prayer at church and this so artfully expressed so much of what prayer is meant to be! Love ya

    1. Funny, so did our church. Pastors must compare notes : )

  2. This is a sermon in poetic form. It has just replaced I Rode My Horse to Heaven as the favorite ever. Maybe. Yes.