September 11, 2000
Psalm 102: 2
Abba, hear my prayer; let my cry come before you. Without prayer, things live an invariant cycle of birth and death. Without prayer, events refer only to themselves. Without prayer, we hope like a gambler. Abba, grant us prayer. Grant us a voice that gets heard. Grant us a word with you. Draw us beyond ourselves, beyond our weakness, beyond the ordinary meanness of this life, toward you who ask us to pray. Draw us through prayer to your beauty and your life.
Abba, hear my prayer; let my cry come before you. My only prayer, Abba, my only prayer is that you raise us and care for us as your beloved children. What else could we want? Abba, I am a parent. I know the instinct to care for my own. I know the strong headedness and the willfulness of the young. I know their need for independence. We give the children their distance, Abba, we let them go, but under protection. When we let them safely go, they gradually respond. They gradually recognize their need for our care. Abba, I see at last my need for you. Please care for us as your children.
Abba, hear my prayer; let my cry come before you. I know I must work. I know I must work the soil for my food. I must enter the forest to build my shelter. I must find wood for warmth against the winter. I build my human place brick by brick, but I couldn't even do this work without you, Abba. You sustain me. I have nothing without you. But it is not mere sustenance I pray for. I observe my brothers and sisters struggling with violence, war, poverty, and disease. Beyond your sustenance we need further help, Abba. We need you to enter here where we are broken. We need you to save us from our worst selves. We need your good peace. Please, Abba, hear our prayer. Amen. . . Amen. . .