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I Used to Pray

“I used to pray all night long”, my grandmother said.


And I used to pray

Every day

At the same time of day.

Religiously asking God to manipulate the world around me.

I prayed to call forth blessings and prayed to keep curses at bay.

I prayed believing that with enough frequency, fervor and faith the desires of my heart would be made manifest.


I prayed and prayed and prayed with mixed success.

Sometimes getting what I wanted

Sometimes grateful that my request had not been granted

And sometimes deeply disappointed that prayer had not produced what I expected.

I prayed until I began to question the very purpose of prayer.


“I used to pray all night long”, my grandmother said, “…until I realized I could just tell God about it and go to sleep!”


I pray less now…less formally and more fluidly.

I pray less out of obligation and more out of necessity.

I pray less fervently for God to move the world, and more that I might move in the world in a way that honors God.

I pray less out of fear that things will fall apart, and more from faith in God’s capacity to hold our brokenness and somehow make us whole.

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