Lord, Teach Us NOT to Pray


The Pope’s on the move. . .

A New Saint (Serra) is on the way. . .

Faith is on the march all over. . .

along with

Wars and refugees, fires and floods and suffering and death all around. . .

There must be Something we can do!

Millions close their eyes, fold their hands or raise their arms to the sky.

Millions put their heads to the floor or dance in circles or stare at a wall.

Millions go into dark places and sit, or sing, or speak to Someone who may be listening. . .at least they hope there is an ear to hear, to hear their words, their concerns, their hopes.

Millions want more “Prayer in the Public Square” and like to draw attention to themselves as great “Prayer Warriors” who stand proud in their self-righteousness closeness to God.

I spent many years of my life doing just that.  Praying, pleading, hoping for Someone to do Something for me, for those I love, for my world.

After I stopped praying, “my eyes were opened and I recognized him”–I recognized Me–all that praying was really about Me.  I saw myself and my world much clearer.

This isn’t to say taking a little time out for reflection, for serious thought and contemplation, isn’t important.  I think that can be very helpful, especially for those of us who are way too busy with. . .busy-ness.

But what if we began to hear more people say a new kind of prayer, a prayer beyond prayer, a prayer to stop praying?!

“Lord, teach me NOT to pray.

Teach me that asking and pleading and begging and praising and worshipping and repeating the same words and verses over and over, week after week, year after year. . .are not helping–not really helping me or my world.

Teach me that prayer really focuses attention on ME–that I’m a child begging for attention and that’s doing nobody any good.

Lord, teach me to be silent more and listen–to listen to those in my world who are asking ME for help; who are looking to me for support and healthcare and homes and respect.

You don’t need my incessant words anyway, Lord.  Why don’t You do what You do, and I’ll do what I can, to make the world better?

Bye now, Lord.”

Wouldn’t that be something!  Maybe it would be a “Last Prayer.”

I don’t remember what MY last prayer was, but I suppose it was this kind of “signing off,” hanging up, letting go of needing, always needing an Ear in the Sky, an Eye to see Me and always be My personal Helper out there, up there.

Is it time for a New Call to Prayer?  A bell-ringing that calls to the End of Prayer?

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