Oremus! (Let us pray)

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Creative Commons Prayer” by Quinn Dombrowski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Colossians 4:2-3     Keep persisting in prayer, staying alert in it and being thankful. Include prayer for us, too, that God may open a door for us to proclaim the message about the secret of the Messiah  (CJB)
[Complete Jewish Bible Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.]

Some thoughts on prayer after reading John Caputo (Chapter 10, “Conclusion: Dreaming, Praying, Hoping, Smiling” in Hoping Against Hope, 2015)

Prayer begins with a dream – a dream of an ordered and orderly universe spinning off toward an embracing future, a future packed with promise. Sober reflection bids us to encounter the finality of that ordered universe – at least, the finality of our little corner of the universe. It may be some 5 billion years down the road, but our sun will burn up all its hydrogen, collapse upon itself, and finally explode contributing more star dust to the universe’s process of growth and death. Finis!

It is not the finality
that leads me to prayer
but the promise
not the impending certainty of death
but the possibility of abundant life

I thought my role
as minister of the gospel
was to lead the people
    in prayer
the blind leading the blind

we can
I can
only follow prayer
into the dark corners and recesses
of a future that beckons
    but never arrives
a march forward
    into the unknown

prayer takes on a life of its own
troubling me
unsettling everything I think I know
    about myself
    about others
    about the world 

we are told
to reduce the stress of modern life
find a safe place just to be
but when I just am 
when I leave myself open
    to the reverie of my dreams
    to the unsettling graces of prayer
I am transported
to an alternate universe
    where the impossible is possible
    where the wolf lies down with the lamb
    where the child plays over the hole of the adder
    where peace and justice are the normalcy of civilization
I weep
I shudder
I shrink back
    realizing that this impossible possibility
    is beckoning me
        provoking me

        inviting me
        calling me

prayer is not my invitation to God
offering up a Christmas list
of wishes I want to receive
    for me
    for others
    for the world
prayer is an open invitation to me
    awaiting an r.s.v.p.
awaiting my response

I don’t pray to God
I pray into God
           into the impossible possibility
           into life itself

prayer is risky business
inducing a state of perpetual disequilibrium
    in me
    in the community of faith
    in the not-so-faithful
    in the world itself
        exposing us all
        to that which wants to come alive
in the name of God

prayer is
    a smile on the face of the world
    a smile from the future
    a smile arising out of the depths
inviting me
coaxing me
troubling me


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