PRAYER GEMS – 29 April

PRAYER Connection to the Source

I am thankful to have bumped into the psalm prayers of SAID, an Iranian who emigrated to Germany.  These prayers offer a presence, not offering advice or answers to life’s great questions, rather deep “stirrings” that unsettle us and move us in the depths of our being.  SAID offers “an authentic way of praying, one that is direct and unsentimental, both simple and demanding enough to voice a hope that can move us.” (p.7, 99 psalms, SAID)

i refuse
to engage prayer as a weapon
i wish it to be like a river
between two shores
for I seek neither punishment nor grace
but rather new skin
that can bear this world

i don’t want to distinguish
the creator-god from the redeemer-god
in exchange for this promise
to make no distinction
between god-fearers and god-seekers
and be done with the pious
who stand in our way
because they stress only what divides
receive my prayer each day                                                             
which I silently address to beauty

stand by me and by my simplicity
which leads me to you
because I want to grasp the earth’s trustworthiness
don’t be an escape o lord
but rather a companion
on paths to come

take up the speech
by which I pray to you
grant me the gestures
that have grown within me in your absence
that I might remain true to my incorrigible nature
and take up your weakness

give me the strength to ponder and clarify
for I seek you
with my flesh with my sorrow
and when you return from abroad
with a tattered memory
then speak
I beg you o lord
In the language of mothers
who wait for their children

keep on wandering forever and never
settle down
because no dwelling places remain
only footsteps
be loud and urgent
share in my life and my passions
accompany me
all the way to your bread
so that my word might wake

do you want to remain the eternally unavailable one?
or do you grow with my prayer?
then reveal yourself also to the beggar
beneath the undivided heavens
and to the stray mare under the shelter
be path be night
until walking in the light I fall into the snare

look lord
i’m the one moving
you need only to remain steadfast
keep silent
so that you hear me
and the voices of others
which have become quieter in your absence
i know nothing about you
yet am full of longing
i only want
you to believe in me
though you know everything about me