… words for today

It takes two things for prayer to come to pass – a person and a word. Prayer involves right relationship between those two things. But we have lost that relationship. Involved as we are in many relationships, our relationship to words has become totally obscured. We do not think about words, although few things are as important for the life of the spirit as the right relationship to words. Words have become cliches, objects of absolute abuse.  They have ceased to be commitments.

Abraham Joshua Heschel (from inward/outward)

This quote really made me think. Is Heschel right? Almost certainly if you read the newspapers (in print or worse online where people can leave vitriolic comments on the stories of the day) or look at the ‘wealth’ of celebrity or fashion based magazines on the shelves of any newsagents.

We no longer craft letters, we rush off slipshod emails or make throw away comments on social networking sites, not worrying about grammar or spelling.

And in our personal relationships – do we actually talk to one another or are our conversations really ‘a dialogue of the deaf’?

We live in a world where words are cheap and plentiful.

Do we treat the words we speak to God – and the words we speak about God – in the same way?

Answers on a postcard!!

(The Wordle contains the most commonly used words in English proverbs :))

Growing into prayer…

To speak about prayer is indeed presumptuous. There are no devices, no techniques; there is no specialized art of prayer. All of life must be a training to pray.

We pray the way we live.

(Abraham Joshua Heschel)

This quote was today’s ‘thought’ from  inward/outward … and it did make me think.

I have read lots of books on prayer which told me about the ‘proper’ technique and attitude and gave advice on timing and location, etc, etc. And none of them really helped, they just made me feel as if I had an inadequate prayer life!

This quote turns things around. We should not be looking for a prayer life, but rather living a life of prayer.

Prayer is more about who we are and how we are living, than the many (and frequently empty) words we offer up as prayer.

We grow into prayer as we live each day with God and for him.

It should become as natural as breathing. But maybe that takes a lifetime?

Photo is from ‘a day of silence’ set by Jonny Baker on Flickr