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