Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Five Prayers

From Sally at RevGals this morning:

Part of the Ascension Day Scripture from Acts 11 contains this promise from Jesus: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Then he was taken from their sight into the clouds, two angels appeared and instructed the probably bewildered disciples to go back to Jerusalem, where they began to wait and to pray for the gift Jesus had promised.

Prayer is a joy to some of us, and a chore to others, waiting likewise can be filled with anticipation or anxiety....So how do you wait and pray?

1. How do you pray best, alone or with others?

I'm not sure that there is a "best." I suppose that it is much easier for me to listen for God when I am alone. But I often hear more clearly in the presence of others.

2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?

Is there someone out there in the universe who enjoys waiting?

3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?

There have certainly been times when I have waited for God's promised presence (days, weeks, months, years), and have had to conclude that God is often present to me in absence.

4. Do you prefer stillness or action?

I usually pray when I walk, or walk when I pray; I have kind of given up on stillness at this point in my life. Of course, that could change as soon as tomorrow.

5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to recieve?

I really do try to be attentive to God in all things. I fail continuously and consistently. I'm not sure, though, now that I think of it, whether I prefer the gift of attentiveness or the gift of failed attentiveness, which offers graces of its own.

My own personal bonus question: What's your favorite book on prayer?

Beginning to Pray, by Anthony Bloom.
One of those books that you read, and re-read, a few sentences at a time.


Diane said...

gannet girl, when I came over from revgals, I couldn't comment.

I like your bonus question! I'll be looking for that one. I posted prayer books too, but not as a bonus.

great play!

Songbird said...

Well put on #2.

Mrs. M said...

Gannet, I love your bonus question. My favorite book on prayer isn't. My that I mean, I offer up prayers of thanksgiving everytime I dip into Whitman's Leaves of Grass. His celebration and mindfulness always bring me back to gratitude.

RevDrKate said...

Such thoughtful answers, GG, I love how you separate listening for and hearing God, alone and with others....that grabbed me and I need to think more about it. Favorite books on Mello's "Awareness", while not "on prayer" specifically is a must re-read for me in my prayer life every year or so, and a new favorite is Foster's "Prayer"

imngrace said...

Praying Our Experiences in one of my favorite books on prayer. It helped me (and continue to help me) know that every piece of our lives is a prayer and we live in those moments with God.

Teri said...

oh, I love your number 3--that is so mature sounding. When I'm in those moments they're usually my least mature moments so I'm whining "Goooodddd.....where are you???? are you coming or what???" Perhaps I should take your approach. :-)

Shalom said...

Thanks for your answer to #2 - that helped articulate for me what I couldn't quite get to in my own answer.

As for books, I'm really appreciating "Inscribing the Text," which is a collection of Walter Brueggemann's sermons and prayers. One prayer in particular really hit me.

But I also love Gail Godwin's "Father Melancholy's Daughter," because it tells so well of the dark times when it is hard to pray. Thanks for the bonus question!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

book on prayer? hmm... i'm usually driving or painting while praying... so adding a book to the mix would be slightly dangerous! oddly enough it would be studying works in my art history books... and copying the works of masters onto canvas - learning the strokes, the play of light & dark, that process teaches me to paint. but prayer works that way too... i think need to find an old master!

mompriest said...

Oh, I so agree on all accounts...not much stillness in my life these days....but I do often walk and pray...or compose sermons which is a form of prayer for me..

Julie said...

I love Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours. Love the combination of ancient and new prayers, the emphasis on the psalms, entering into a tradition that is vibrant and alive.

Anonymous said...

''God is often present to me in absence. '' what does this mean? (sincerely asked)

Gannet Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
revhipchick said...

amen to #2!