for as the rain…

This is not quite the ‘theology’ blog a couple of you have asked for, but is almost that — on prayer.

I spend a lot of time in prayer not sure of what is going on. Nothing unusual in that, of course. But it can still be frustrating. Not least when you are trying to pray with a text for a particular reason: because someone has suggested it to you, because some instinct says it is what is needed, even because that is what the lectionary offers on a given day.

But here’s the thing. When I am standing by the water in tall grass… when the difficult question I’ve been avoiding finally forms directly and cannot be shirked… when the ‘answer’ comes as fast as the oyster-catcher turns on the wing… then the ‘answer’ comes as the memory of prayer, as a text that wouldn’t bend under my will, that wouldn’t yield what I wanted. Until it (or I?) was ready.

6 thoughts on “for as the rain…

  1. I often find that water is wonderful aid to prayer. As if the water is praying for me when I don’t know how/can’t/don’t understand. Holy Spirit intervention I guess.

  2. There’s plenty of theology in this: waiting for the Lord, self-emptying, renouncing one’s own agenda. How about: We don’t pray, but God prays in us?

  3. Made me think of Larkin’s poem Water:

    If I were called in
    To construct a religion
    I should make use of water.

    Going to church
    Would entail a fording
    To dry, different clothes;

    My litany would employ
    Images of sousing,
    A furious devout drench,

    And I should raise in the east
    A glass of water
    Where any-angled light
    Would congregate endlessly.

  4. Thanks Kelvin — I’d forgotten that one, despite the fact that Larkin has been sitting by my bed under a box of cat treats for weeks.

  5. It is an easy day for praying here today in the east. The wind is howling in from the north. The waves and spray are wonderful crashing over the sea wall. What a delight.

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