This riot in my blood [Prayer 4/10]

Note: Though these prayers are published, prayers are generally a private enterprise, an intimate exchange between you and God. I realize any one of the ten prayers can take days to process, some perhaps quicker than others. Read at your normal pace and read each prayer out loud. Maybe one line stands out or wrestles with you in some particular way. Maybe that one line charms. Maybe it nags. Either way, work it out on paper (or here as a comment). Let us know your thoughts. Thanks.

If only I could love as my origins ask of me—purely, nakedly, thoroughly, correctly, naturally. If only the life of God in me were that fertile, that profuse, that liberal, that bounding, that alive in me, that irresistible. Yet I know Eden is but one kindness from me, one act of charity within my reach, one short surrender. Mine for the having. Continue Reading…

Until my heart is free [Prayer 3/10]

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. —Hebrews 10:31

It is a dreadful thing, an awesome thing, a wonderfully terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God—warm and comforting. And let me fall. For I am in love too steep. Let me trust the hands that made me, the hands that bled for my release. Awaken what sleeps in me. I want to be accessible, touchable, reachable. I want to be available, pliable. Continue Reading…

My senses ache for want of you [Prayer 2/10]

The following prayer is the second of ten taken from AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE. Again, maybe there is one particular line that stands out that you would like to comment on. Maybe there is one that unsettles you, or that you don’t understand. Let us know what you think. Leave a comment and you will receive a signed copy of the book.

And what would I ask? That I might live in the pleasure of the Lord all my days? That I might lose myself in his deep contentment? That I might know the kindness that moves his heart? That I might love what he loves? To know where his approval lies, his consent, and where it doesn’t? To trust when there is no sense of him? Continue Reading…

I will soften under your teaching [Prayer 1/10]

The following prayer is found at the end of Chapter One of AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE. Read this prayer slowly, deliberately, and, preferably, out loud. Upon reflection, maybe there is one line that is of particular interest to you, one that unsettles you or perhaps encourages you or gives you hope in an unexpected way. If so, please tell us about it. I am going to post each of the ten prayers from this book in two day intervals. Each prayer has layers that may demand a second look, and possibly a third, particularly if some element arouses some neglected passion. Give that passion speech. That is, leave a comment.

Each prayer is shaped in the language that prayer often takes, which at times is simple and at times is complex and lyrical. God speaks to us in splendors, in rhapsodies the heart alone can understand. Our prayers often return that same splendor back to God. Splendor and clarity are lovely when they pray together.

Therefore, one day’s exploration may not be enough.

We want to hear what you have to say. You may comment on one line, on two or more lines, or comment on the entire prayer—however you may be moved. We want you to have this book. If you leave a comment, you will receive a signed copy of the book. We hope you enjoy this prayer cycle.

LORD, I WANT TO LIVE THE DEVOTED LIFE, to live life according to your original design. I am a world whose true discovery is yet to be. Call forth what is authentic in me, what may have been lost in my distractions, set aside, or forgotten. Set worship adrift in me. Awaken my heart, the Eden sleeping in me. Continue Reading…

Ever Burning, Never Extinguished [Epilogue]

Note: We’re at the end of our time together. For now. But the epilogue ties it off nicely, I think. Again, thank you for your participation. We will do this again, sometime soon. —David

It’s a lifetime practice, one that can always grow deeper. Any effort to know God is success, even though we feel it is a flop, because God appreciates even the smallest consideration or thought much more than we can imagine.

—Fr. Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., Healing Our Violence Through the Journey of Centering Prayer

O Love, ever burning, never extinguished, O Charity, my God, set me on fire!

—Augustine, The Confessions

AUGUSTINE WAS NO STRANGER TO THE FIRE OF GOD. BY A heat much greater than his own passions, he was changed forever. John of the Cross referred to it as “the living flame of God.” He said it is the tenderness of God that wounds the soul with its burning. “So deeply and profoundly does it wound it and fill it with tenderness that it causes it to melt in love . . . for this is the effect that the speaking [the voice] of God causes in the soul.”

When the soul says that the flame wounds it in its deepest center, it means that it wounds it in the farthest point attained by its own substance and virtue and power. This it says to indicate the copiousness and abundance of its glory and delight, which is the greater and the more tender when the soul is the more fervently and substantially transformed and centered in God.

Continue Reading…

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