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Prayer on Monday

9:53 PM
God,
Reveal yourself to me in an undeniable way.  I've been told I haven't been listening, but I'm here.  I do not believe anymore in the bible stories told to me as a child.  My faith in you and the stories contained in the bible have diminished.
If I am to turn back to you, I must see you, experience you in a new and refreshing way.

Your Human
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My assignment for this week.

9:40 PM
Today, I talked to a family member.  She encouraged me to write a prayer every day this week.   I imagine they will be short given my unbelief.
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On the subject of prayer...

4:19 PM
A friend of mine posted a brilliant comment on Facebook and I thought I'd share it with the rest of the world.

For myself, I have never been very disciplined or good at personal prayer times. I 


tend to get distracted very quickly, or impatient, or I start conversations with 


myself and not God--the usual stuff. The best I can do is to rely on the good words 


of others, crafted through centuries of care and by people much wiser than I.  So, 


for example, I love the Anglican and Episcopalian Books of Common Prayer.  There 


are many prayers and many prayer services in those liturgies, but a good place to 


start would be with the most beautiful prayer service, Compline, which is supposed 


to be the last thing one does before going to bed. When I was in college I 


participated in a regular Sunday evening Compline service in someone's home--we


 lit candles, we had coffee together...it was lovely and encouraging and soul-


soothing. Here's a link to the service--you can pray it all by yourself, or with 


others: http://www.bcponline.org/ Click on the "Daily Office" option to the left, 


then the "Compline" link. The Daily Office is the series of prayers Anglicans pray 


throughout the day: Morning prayer, Noon prayer, Evening prayer, and Compline. 

Another book I've found immensely helpful is a little book by a Scottish theologian, 


John Baillie, called *A Diary of Private Prayer.* It's lovely and true and wise and 


gracious and thoughtful, and there's a morning prayer and an evening prayer.

Wonderful stuff. 

And, I guess my answer to your question would go something like this: I don't 


know what the hell to wish for. More than likely, I'd wish for stuff that was bad for


me. But prayer seems to change me. Praying these old prayers gives me words to


understand my own experience, my own spiritual life, my own dark, muddied, 


interior. And as I've prayed these prayers over many years--I have reams of the BCP 


memorized now--I find that I return to those words in moments of need, like 


remembering a hymn or a poem you memorized when you were a kid. Prayer can


 go deep in the soul in the way that wishes--however intensely we wish them--


don't seem to go. 

Hmm, anything else? Oh yes, the best prayer I ever knew was my theater professor


 in college. He taught me two things: one, sometimes the best prayer, the only


 prayer to pray is "Jesus, I feel like shit." True, that. And two: the most ancient 


prayer we know, a prayer prayed by all Christians at all times and in all places is


 this, "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." 'Bout sums it up, I 


think. I have been known to pray that about a hundred times a day when the going


is very rough. 

Blessings to you.
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